Articles | Volume 14, issue 9
Research article
05 May 2017
Research article |  | 05 May 2017

Detecting climatically driven phylogenetic and morphological divergence among spruce (Picea) species worldwide

Guo-Hong Wang, He Li, Hai-Wei Zhao, and Wei-Kang Zhang

Abstract. This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between climate and the phylogenetic and morphological divergence of spruces (Picea) worldwide. Climatic and georeferenced data were collected from a total of 3388 sites distributed within the global domain of spruce species. A phylogenetic tree and a morphological tree for the global spruces were reconstructed based on DNA sequences and morphological characteristics. Spatial evolutionary and ecological vicariance analysis (SEEVA) was used to detect the ecological divergence among spruces. A divergence index (D) with (0, 1) scaling was calculated for each climatic factor at each node for both trees. The annual mean values, extreme values and annual range of the climatic variables were among the major determinants for spruce divergence. The ecological divergence was significant (P < 0. 001) for 185 of the 279 comparisons at 31 nodes in the phylogenetic tree, as well as for 196 of the 288 comparisons at 32 nodes in the morphological tree. Temperature parameters and precipitation parameters tended to be the main driving factors for the primary divergences of spruce phylogeny and morphology, respectively. Generally, the maximum D of the climatic variables was smaller in the basal nodes than in the remaining nodes. Notably, the primary divergence of morphology and phylogeny among the investigated spruces tended to be driven by different selective pressures. Given the climate scenario of severe and widespread drought over land areas in the next 30–90 years, our findings shed light on the prediction of spruce distribution under future climate change.

Short summary
Spruces worldwide have been classified into groups based on morphological similarity and phylogenetic affinity. However, climatic influences on the divergence of spruces remain unknown. Using data from 3388 sites of spruces worldwide, we found that temperature parameters and precipitation parameters tended to be the main driving factors for the primary divergence of spruce phylogeny and morphology, respectively.
Final-revised paper