• Can species distribution models and molecular tools help unravel disjunct distribution of Rhododendron arboreum?

    • Fulltext


        Click here to view fulltext PDF

      Permanent link:

    • Keywords


      disjunction; satpura hypothesis; Himalaya; Western Ghats; quaternary climate; India; Rhododendron arboreum.

    • Abstract


      The apparent absence of Himalayan low-elevation taxa in the central Indian region and resumption of their distribution in the high elevation of Western Ghats has puzzled biogeographers for several decades. Many theories have been proposed to explain this but attempts remain futile owing to insufficient empirical support. Here, we have employed a montane tree species, Rhododendron arboreum to investigate this pattern by integrating past ecological niche modelling with molecular signatures. Reconstruction of paleo-ecological nichefrom interglacial to Last Glacial Maxima (LGM) portrayed a gradual depletion of vegetation cover with extreme impoverishment in the Holocene. A similar pattern was also reflected from genetic signatures; population history revealed a very recent split between the Himalayas and Western Ghats in the late Quaternary. A few other tree species exhibiting the same disjunction demonstrated a similarmodification of paleo-ecological niche from last interglacial. The study clearly indicated that the populations in the Western Ghats to be a relictual remnants of a once continuous distribution of R. arboreum.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Royal Enclave, Srirampura, Jakkur Post, Bengaluru 560 064, India
      2. Center for Studies in Ethnobiology, Biodiversity, and Sustainability (CEiBa), B.G. Road, Mokdumpur, Malda 732 103, India
      3. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 560 012, India
    • Dates

  • Journal of Genetics | News

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

© 2022-2023 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.