Molecular biogeography of the fungus-dwelling saproxylic beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus indicates rapid expansion from glacial refugia

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  • Jonas Eberle
  • Martin Husemann
  • Inken Doerfler
  • Werner Ulrich
  • Jörg Müller
  • Christophe Bouget
  • Antoine Brin
  • Martin M. Gossner
  • Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob
  • Gunnar Isacsson
  • Anton Krištín
  • Thibault Lachat
  • Laurent Larrieu
  • Andreas Rigling
  • Jürgen Schmidl
  • Sebastian Seibold
  • Kris Vandekerkhove
  • Jan Christian Habel

The geographical distributions of species associated with European temperate broadleaf forests have been significantly influenced by glacial-interglacial cycles. During glacial periods, these species persisted in Mediterranean and extra-Mediterranean refugia and later, during interglacial periods, expanded northwards. The widespread saproxylic beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus depends closely on European temperate broadleaf forests. It usually develops in the tinder fungus Fomes fomentarius, a major decomposer of broadleaf-wood. We sampled B. reticulatus in sporocarps from European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis) across Europe and the Caucasus region. We analysed mitochondrial gene sequences (cox1, cox2, cob) and 17 microsatellites to reconstruct the geographical distribution of glacial refugia and postglacial recolonization pathways. We found only marginal genetic differentiation of B. reticulatus, except for a significant split between populations of the Caucasus region and Europe. This indicates the existence of past refugia south of the Great Caucasus, and a contact zone with European populations in the Crimean region. Further potential refugia might have been located at the foothills of the Pyrenees and in the Balkan region. Our genetic data suggest a phalanx-wise recolonization of Europe, a reflection of the high mobility of B. reticulatus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume133
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)766-778
Number of pages13
ISSN0024-4066
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • biogeography, broadleaf forest, expansion, Fomes fomentarius, genetic analysis, mobility, phalanx-wise, refugia

ID: 275887749