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Isozyme divergence between eastern Asian, North American, and Turkish species of Liquidambar (Hamamelidaceae)

Isozyme divergence between eastern Asian, North American, and Turkish species of Liquidambar (Hamamelidaceae)

American Journal of Botany 78(7): 938-947

The deciduous woody genus Liquidambar has four morphologically similar species in eastern and western Asia, eastern North America, and Central America. Liquidambar styraciflua is found in the eastern United States and Central America, L. orientalis is native only to southwest Turkey, and L. formosana and L. acalycina occur in eastern Asia. This genus is one of many that contributes to the floristic similarities observed between these different regions. Allelic variation was scored at 22 isozyme loci from 41 populations. The level of genetic divergence between species on different continents is high. Nei's genetic identity was 0.431 between L. formosana and L. styraciflua, 0.485 between L. acalycina and L. styraciflua, 0.512 between L. orientalis and L. styraciflua, 0.256 between L. formosana and L. orientalis, and 0.305 between L. acalycina and L. orientalis. Estimates of time of divergence from the isozyme data suggest that the current species diverged before or during the Miocene. The pattern of relationships portrayed by the isozyme data suggest a longer period of separation between the eastern and western Asian forms of this genus. In addition, the eastern North American and Turkish species appear to be the most closely related intercontinental pair of species providing evidence for a North Atlantic land bridge as late as the Miocene. It would appear, therefore, that the North American populations were in contact with the Asian populations over the North Pacific and North Atlantic possibly as late as the Miocene, but that the separation between the two Asian populations occurred much earlier. The time of divergence as measured from the isozyme data correlates with an independent assessment of the origin of these disjuncts as determined from the fossil record.

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Accession: 002146800

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DOI: 10.2307/2445172

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