Regular Paper

Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 323-333

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Anagenetic speciation in Ullung Island, Korea: genetic diversity and structure in the island endemic species, Acer takesimense (Sapindaceae)

  • Koji TakayamaAffiliated withDepartment of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Biodiversity Center, University of Vienna Email author 
  • , Byung-Yun SunAffiliated withFaculty of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Chonbuk National University
  • , Tod F. StuessyAffiliated withDepartment of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Biodiversity Center, University of Vienna


Anagenetic speciation is an important mode of speciation in oceanic islands; one-fourth of the endemic plants are estimated to have been derived via this process. Few studies, however, have critically examined the genetic consequences of anagenesis in comparison with cladogenesis (involved with adaptive radiation). We hypothesize that endemic species originating via anagenetic speciation in a relatively uniform environment should accumulate genetic variation with limited populational differentiation. We undertook a population genetic analysis using nine nuclear microsatellite loci of Acer takesimense, an anagenetically derived species endemic to Ullung Island, Korea, and its continental progenitor A. pseudosieboldianum on the Korean Peninsula. Microsatellite data reveal a clear genetic distinction between the two species. A high F value in the cluster of A. takesimense was found by Bayesian clustering analysis, suggesting a strong episode of genetic drift during colonization and speciation. In comparison with A. pseudosieboldianum, A. takesimense has slightly lower genetic diversity and possesses less than half the number of private and rare alleles. Consistent with predictions, weak geographical genetic structure within the island was found in A. takesimense. These results imply that anagenetic speciation leads to a different pattern of specific and genetic diversity than often seen with cladogenesis.


Anagenetic speciation Cladogenesis Endemic plants Korean Peninsula Oceanic island Phyletic speciation