Type de publication:Articles
Source:Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, Volume 11 (2021)
High elevation temperate mountains have long been considered species poor owing to high extinction or low speciation rates during the Pleistocene. We performed a phylogenetic and population genomic investigation of an emblematic high-elevation plant clade (Androsace sect. Aretia, 31 currently recognized species), based on plant surveys conducted during alpinism expeditions. We inferred that this clade originated in the Miocene and continued diversifying through Pleistocene glaciations, and discovered three novel species of Androsace dwelling on different bedrock types on the rooftops of the Alps. This highlights that temperate high mountains have been cradles of plant diversity even during the Pleistocene, with in-situ speciation driven by the combined action of geography and geology. Our findings have an unexpected historical relevance: H.-B. de Saussure likely observed one of these species during his 1788 expedition to the Mont Blanc and we describe it here, over two hundred years after its first sighting.
Life Sciences [q-bio]/Biodiversity/Systematics, Phylogenetics and taxonomyJournal articles