Climatic fluctuations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exerted a profound influence on biodiversity patterns, but their impact on bryophytes, the second most diverse group of land plants, has been poorly documented. Approximate Bayesian computations based on coalescent simulations showed that the post‐glacial assembly of European bryophytes involves a complex history from multiple sources. The contribution of allochthonous migrants was 95–100% of expanding populations in about half of the 15 investigated species, which is consistent with the globally balanced genetic diversities and extremely low divergence observed among biogeographical regions. Such a substantial contribution of allochthonous migrants in the post‐glacial assembly of Europe is unparalleled in other plants and animals. The limited role of northern micro‐refugia, which was unexpected based on bryophyte life‐history traits, and of southern refugia, is consistent with recent palaeontological evidence that LGM climates in Eurasia were much colder and drier than what palaeoclimatic models predict.
Ecology Letters – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 2019
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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