The Genus Primula as a Model for Evolution in the Alaskan Flora
Detailed analysis of evolutionary mechanisms in a single genus can provide insight into the processes shaping a regional flora. The genus Primula (primrose) offers a model for the complex origins of the modern Alaskan flora. The arctic species in this genus represent strong ties to Asia and to other parts of North America, as well as an autochthonous element. Migration routes have been along mountain chains, coastlines, and river systems. Speciation has been facilitated by reproductive specialization, notably distyly with obligate outcrossing, and homostyly with self-fertility. Separation of gene pools, isolation, chance mutations acted upon by selection for reproductive assurance, hybridization, and polyploidy have contributed heavily to speciation. A model for the interrelationship of homostyly and polyploidy is suggested.
Citation Note: This article was published when our journal had an earlier shorter name: "Arctic and Alpine Research."