Peer Review #1 of "Influence of Pleistocene climatic oscillations on the phylogeography and demographic history of endemic vulnerable trees (section Magnolia) of the Tropical Montane Cloud Forest in Mexico (v0.2)"
The Tropical Montane Cloud Forest (TMCF) is a highly dynamic ecosystem that has undergone frequent spatial changes in response to the interglacial-glacial cycles of the Pleistocene. These climatic fluctuations between cold and warm cycles have led to species range shifts and contractions-expansions, resulting in complex patterns of genetic structure and lineage divergence in forest tree species. In this study, we sequenced four regions of the chloroplast DNA (trnT-trnL, trnK5-matk, rpl32-trnL,
... rnS-trnG) for 20 populations and 96 individuals to evaluate the phylogeography, historical demography, and paleodistributions of vulnerable endemic TMCF trees in Mexico: Magnolia pedrazae (north-region), M. schiedeana (central-region), and M. schiedeana population Oaxaca (south-region). Our data recovered 49 haplotypes that showed a significant phylogeographic structure in three regions: north, central, and south. Bayesian Phylogeographic and Ecological Clustering (BPEC) analysis also supported the divergence in three lineages and highlighted the role of environmental factors (temperature and precipitation) in genetic differentiation. Our historical demography analyses revealed demographic expansions predating the Last Interglacial (LIG, ~125,000 years ago), while Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) simulations equally supported two contrasting demographic scenarios. The BPEC and haplotype network analyses suggested that ancestral haplotypes were geographically found in central Veracruz. Our paleodistributions modeling showed evidence of range shifts and expansions-contractions from the LIG to the present, which suggested the complex evolutionary dynamics associated to the climatic