Abstract Detail

From the backbone to diversification: unraveling the evolutionary history of Ericales

Becker, Anna [1], Crowl, Andrew [2], Fritsch, Peter [3], Cellinese, Nico [1], Chanderbali, Andre [1], Judd, Walter [4].

The Spatiotemporal Origin of Hawaiʻian Blueberries (Vaccinium).

Due to its extremely isolated, de novo nature, the tropical archipelago of Hawaiʻi is famous for fostering a high proportion of endemic lineages. Sizable ranges of elevation coupled with climatic variability offer an enormous diversity of ecological niches and greatly reduced competition because of the relatively recent volcanic origin of the islands. These conditions are thought to accelerate isolation and favor local endemism. The archipelago has been termed a “conveyor belt” of volcanic islands which reach a carrying capacity of organismal diversity and subsequently submerge. Therefore, the archipelago presents a unique environment for colonizing organisms in which timing of dispersal matters crucially to their ability to diversify. Combining phylogenetic studies with the historical geology of the islands has opened doors to better understand the complicated network of factors behind diversification processes of Hawaiʻian endemic lineages. Using phylogenomic methods, we confirm the monophyly of one such lineage: Hawaiʻian Vaccinium, an important yet poorly understood group of high elevation shrubs and resolve its placement within Vaccinium sect. Myrtillus. Additionally, we investigate the origin and age of dispersal with time-calibrated phylogenies and biogeographical approaches. Our results suggest that Hawaiʻian Vaccinium dispersed approximately ~4.7-7.2MA, an age that aligns well with the birth of the oldest current high-island, Kauai. Some ambiguity still exists as to the ancestor of the Hawaiian Vaccinium, but two clear hypotheses have emerged: the sister to the Hawaiʻian clade may be either 1) Japanese V. yatabei or 2) North American V. scoparium. Although some results support the North American V. scoparium as sister to the Hawaiian clade, a network analysis revealed historical gene flow between the North American taxon and the ancestors of V. yatabei, suggesting its placement as sister to the Hawaiʻian clade is likely due to historical introgression.

1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32611
2 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
3 - Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth, TX, 67107, USA
4 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, Gainesville, FL, 32611


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C3011
Abstract ID:604
Candidate for Awards:None

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