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  1. Abstract

    The genusBidens(Compositae) comprisesc. 230 species distributed across five continents, with the 41 Polynesian species displaying the greatest ecomorphological variation in the group. However, the genus has had a long and complicated taxonomic history, and its phylogenetic and biogeographic history are poorly understood. To resolve the evolutionary history of the PolynesianBidens, 152 individuals representing 91 species were included in this study, including 39 of the 41 described species from Polynesia. Four chloroplast and two nuclear DNA markers were utilized to estimate phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and biogeographic history.Bidenswas found to be polyphyletic withinCoreopsis, consistent with previous assessments. The Polynesian radiation was resolved as monophyletic, with the initial dispersal into the Pacific possibly from South America to either the Hawaiian or Marquesas Islands. From the Marquesas,Bidensdispersed to the Society Islands, and ultimately to the Austral Islands. The initial diversification of the crown group in the Pacific is estimated to have occurred ~1.63 mya (0.74–2.72, 95% HPD), making PolynesianBidensamong the youngest and most rapid plant diversification events documented in the Pacific. Our findings suggest that relatively rare long‐distance dispersal and founder‐event speciation, coupled with subsequent loss of dispersal potential and within‐island speciation, can explain the repeated and explosive adaptive radiation ofBidensthroughout the archipelagoes of Polynesia.

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  2. Premise

    The drivers of isolation between sympatric populations of long‐lived and highly dispersible conspecific plants are not well understood. In the Hawaiian Islands, the landscape‐dominant tree,Metrosideros polymorpha, displays extraordinary phenotypic differences among sympatric varieties despite high dispersibility of its pollen and seeds, thereby presenting a unique opportunity to investigate how disruptive selection alone can maintain incipient forms. StenophyllousM. polymorphavar.newelliiis a recently evolved tree endemic to the waterways of eastern Hawai'i Island that shows striking neutral genetic differentiation from its ancestor, wet‐forestM. polymorphavar.glaberrima, despite sympatry of these forms. We looked for evidence for, and drivers of, differential local adaptation of these varieties across the range ofM. polymorphavar.newellii.


    For paired populations of these varieties, we compared seedling performance under contrasting light conditions and a strong water current characteristic of the riparian zone. We also conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment and contrasted adult leaf anatomy.


    Results suggest that the riparian zone is harsh and that selection involving the mechanical stress of rushing water, and secondarily, light, led to significant reciprocal immigrant inviability in adjacent forest and riparian environments. The strongest adaptive divergence between varieties was seen in leaves and seedlings from the site with the sharpest ecotone, coincident with the strongest genetic isolation ofM. polymorphavar.newelliiobserved previously.


    These findings suggest that disruptive selection across a sharp ecotone contributes to the maintenance of an incipient riparian ecotype from within a continuous population of a long‐lived and highly dispersible tree species.

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