Population genomics of a reindeer lichen species from North American lichen woodlands

Population genomics of a reindeer lichen species from North American lichen woodlandsAlonso-Garcia, MartaGrewe, FelixPayette, SergeVillarreal, Juan Carlos A.DOI: info:10.1002/ajb2.1601v. 108No. 1159–171
Alonso-Garcia, Marta, Grewe, Felix, Payette, Serge, and Villarreal, Juan Carlos A. 2021. "Population genomics of a reindeer lichen species from North American lichen woodlands." American Journal of Botany 108 (1):159– 171. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1601
ID: 158396
Type: article
Authors: Alonso-Garcia, Marta; Grewe, Felix; Payette, Serge; Villarreal, Juan Carlos A.
Abstract: PREMISE Lichens are one of the main structural components of plant communities in the North American boreal biome. They play a pivotal role in lichen woodlands, a large ecosystem situated north of the closed-crown forest zone, and south of the forest-tundra zone. In Eastern Canada (Quebec), there is a remnant LW found 500 km south of its usual distribution range, in the Parc National des Grands-Jardins, originated mainly because of wildfires. We inferred the origin of the lichen Cladonia stellaris from this LW and assessed its genetic diversity in a postfire succession. METHODS We genotyped 122 individuals collected across a latitudinal gradient in Quebec. Using the software Stacks, we compared four different approaches of locus selection and single-nucleotide polymorphism calling. We identified the best fitting approach to investigate population structure and estimate genetic diversity of C. stellaris. RESULTS Populations in southern Quebec are not genetically different from those of northern LWs. The species consists of at least four phylogenetic lineages with elevated levels of genetic diversity and low co-ancestry. In Parc National des Grands-Jardins, we reported high values of genetic diversity not related with time since fire disturbance and low genetic differentiation among populations with different fire histories. CONCLUSIONS This first population genomic study of C. stellaris is an important step forward to understand the origin and biogeographic patterns of lichen woodlands in North America. Our findings also contribute to the understanding of the effect of postfire succession on the genetic structure of the species.