Aim Beringia, the unglaciated region encompassing the former Bering land bridge, as well as the land between the Lena and Mackenzie rivers, is recognized as an important refugium for arctic plants during the last ice age. Compelling palaeobotanical evidence also supports the presence of small populations of boreal trees within Beringia during the Last Glacial Maximum. The occurrence of balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) in Beringia provides a unique opportunity to assess the implications of persistence in a refugium on present-day genetic diversity for this boreal tree species.


Breen, A. L., D. F. Murray and M. S. Olson. 2012. Genetic consequences of glacial survival: the late Quaternary history of balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera L.) in North America. Journal of Biogeography. 39(5): 918-928. DOI: