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Distinct evolutionary histories of lowland biota on Italian and Balkan peninsulas revealed by the phylogeography of Arundo plinii (Poaceae)

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Although recognized as hotspots of biodiversity, Mediterranean peninsulas have been poorly studied with regard to the evolutionary legacy of Quaternary environmental changes for endemic lowland biota. Using the phylogeography of the lowland Arundo plinii Turra (Poaceae), we evaluated two hypotheses regarding the genetic structure of southern European species, that there is: (H1) a decrease in regional genetic diversity with increasing latitude induced by past contractions towards southern refugia; and (H2) a strong differentiation between isolated refugia without a latitudinal gradient in genetic diversity.
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Keywords: Arundo plinii; Balkans; Italy; Mediterranean; Pleistocene refugia; evolutionary history; peninsular endemic species; phylogeography; polyploidy; southern Europe

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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