Pleistocene climatic oscillations and the speciation history of an alpine endemic and a widespread arctic-alpine plant

Hajime Ikeda, Tor Carlsen, Noriyuki Fujii, Christian Brochmann, Hiroaki Setoguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


• Even in cases in which geographic isolation appears to have driven the speciation of regional endemics, range shifts during the Pleistocene climatic oscillations may also have influenced their evolutionary history. Elucidating speciation history can provide novel insights into evolutionary dynamics following climatic oscillations. • We demonstrated a sister relationship between the Japanese alpine endemic Cardamine nipponica and the currently allopatric, widespread arctic-alpine Cardaminebellidifolia (Brassicaceae) based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences and 10 other nuclear genes. Speciation history was inferred using demographic parameters under the isolation with migration model. • The estimated demographic parameters showed that the population size of C. nipponica was similar to that of C. bellidifolia and that gene flow occurred exclusively from C. nipponica to C. bellidifolia after speciation. • The inferred speciation history, which included gene flow, suggests that geographic barriers between the peripheral C. nipponica and the widespread C. bellidifolia were reduced during the Pleistocene. The asymmetric introgression implies that genetic isolation may have been involved in the speciation of C. nipponica. Our results suggest that even currently allopatric species may not have diverged solely under geographic isolation, and that their evolutionary history may have been influenced by Pleistocene range dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-594
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic-alpine plants
  • Cardamine nipponica
  • Endemic species
  • Isolation-with-migration (IM) model
  • Peripheral population
  • Pleistocene climatic oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Pleistocene climatic oscillations and the speciation history of an alpine endemic and a widespread arctic-alpine plant'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this