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It is commonly believed that trees were absent in Scandinavia during the last glaciation and first recolonized the Scandinavian Peninsula with the retreat of its ice sheet some 9000 years ago. Here, we show the presence of a rare mitochondrial DNA haplotype of spruce that appears unique to Scandinavia and with its highest frequency to the west-an area(More)
Although it is generally agreed that the Arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of Arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we also explore(More)
Metabarcoding approaches use total and typically degraded DNA from environmental samples to analyse biotic assemblages and can potentially be carried out for any kinds of organisms in an ecosystem. These analyses rely on specific markers, here called metabarcodes, which should be optimized for taxonomic resolution, minimal bias in amplification of the(More)
Recent human expansion into the Pacific initiated a dramatic avian extinction crisis, and surviving taxa are typically interpreted as declining remnants of previously abundant populations. As a case in point, New Zealand's endangered yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) is widely considered to have been more abundant and widespread in the past. By(More)
Historic museum specimens are increasingly used to answer a wide variety of questions in scientific research. Nevertheless, the scientific value of these specimens depends on the authenticity of the data associated with them. Here we use individual-based genetic analyses to demonstrate erroneous locality information for archive specimens from the late(More)
Human population expansion and associated degradation of the habitat of many wildlife species cause loss of biodiversity and species extinctions. The small Simen Mountains National Park in Ethiopia is one of the last strongholds for the preservation of a number of afro-alpine mammals, plants and birds, and it is home to the rare endemic Walia ibex, Capra(More)
The majority of archaeological plant material is preserved in a charred state. Obtaining reliable ancient DNA data from these remains has presented challenges due to high rates of nucleotide damage, short DNA fragment lengths, low endogenous DNA content and the potential for modern contamination. It has been suggested that high-throughput sequencing (HTS)(More)
Understanding the genetic basis of traits involved in adaptive divergence and speciation is one of the most fundamental objectives in evolutionary biology. Toward that end, we look for signatures of extreme plate loss in the genome of freshwater threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Plateless stickleback have been found in only a few lakes and(More)
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