Topographic changes during the Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles affected the distribution of coastline mangroves and influenced their population genetic structure. The submergence of the continental shelf off southeast China during the postglacial age caused coastline expansions and resulted in the colonization of mangroves. Here, we performed multilocus genome scans using amplified fragment-length polymorphisms to explore the effects of topography and natural selection in structuring Kandelia obovata populations. Long-term isolation by the Taiwan Strait since the end of the last glacial maximum, which obstructed gene flow, differentiated the Taiwanese and Chinese populations. Founders that colonized from both outlets of the Taiwan Strait were sourced from the northern South China Sea and the Ryukyus, thereby creating a melting pot in the Taiwan Strait. Inner-strait currents played roles as vectors for propagule dispersal among populations. Upon examination of the allele-frequency distributions of outlier loci, most negative outliers reflected the widespread polymorphisms shared by common ancestors. Furthermore, significant differentiation in the genetic components of positive outliers between this and other populations and the negative correlation with geographic distance suggested the presence of geography- or latitude-independent population divergence. Restored populations were compared with their sources and revealed biased sampling of nursery seedlings, which caused within-population substructures and reduced effective population sizes. This study indicated that multiple factors affect the population structure of the mangroves off southeast China.
The zip file contains three sheets of AFLP loci of Kandelia obovata, the neutral loci, the negative-outlier loci, and the positive outlier loci.