Because of the complex geoclimatic dynamics of the Mediterranean basin, resulting from a combination of Tertiary geological processes and Quaternary climatic oscillations, the current species composition of the main continental islands is a mosaic resulting from relative contribution of vicariance, geodispersal and long-distance dispersal by seed. To help distinguish among the contributions of these different dispersal modes to the orchid species richness on the island of Sardinia, we investigated the genetic structure and phylogeographic relationship of the only Platanthera bifolia var. kuenkelei population on the island. By using plastid DNA sequence variation, we show that this recently discovered population is more closely related to the Tunisian P. bifolia var. kuenkelei than to the geographically closer P. bifolia populations from peninsular Italy. Results from haplotype network construction support the hypothesis that the current distribution of P. bifolia var. kuenkelei (Sardinia and Tunisia) is most likely explained by over-sea dispersal. However, haplotype diversity and mismatch analysis of this unique Sardinian population suggest that, if a long-distance dispersal event did occur, it was not recent. More likely, temporarily favourable climatic conditions generated a suitable habitat on the island (also in terms of suitable mycorrhizas and pollinators) and thus a transient opportunity for seedling growth and population establishment of P. bifolia var. kuenkelei from North Africa.
|Titolo:||Where do Sardinian orchids come from: a putative African origin for the insular population of Platanthera bifolia var. kuenkelei?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|