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Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Sanmartin I.,Real Jardin Botanico
Taxon | Year: 2011

The Neotropical region (tropical America) is the most species rich region on Earth. Several causes have been proposed to explain this extraordinary biodiversity, which may be very roughly classified into two major categories: 'biotic' (e.g. soil adaptations; biotic interactions with pollinators, dispersers and herbivores; niche conservatism; dispersal ability) and 'abiotic' (e.g. time; rainfall, temperature and area; mountain uplift; hydrological changes). In this paper we review the evidence for each of these postulated causes of diversification and provide general directions towards further testing. We highlight the need of more well-sampled and dated phylogenies and urge increased inter-disciplinary collaboration.

Wuest R.O.,University of Zurich | Wuest R.O.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Wuest R.O.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | And 4 more authors.
American Naturalist | Year: 2015

Climate is a main predictor of biodiversity on a global scale, yet how climate availability affects niche evolution remains poorly explored. Here we assess how intercontinental climate differences may affect the evolution of climate niches and suggest three possible processes: niche truncation along major environmental gradients, intercontinental differences in available climate causing differences in selective regimes, and niche shifts associated with longdistance dispersals leading to a pattern of punctuated evolution. Using the globally distributed danthonioid grasses, we show significant niche differentiation among continents and several instances of niche truncation. The comparison of inferred selective regimes with differences in available climatic space among continents demonstrates adaptation resulting from opportunistic evolution toward available climatic space. Our results suggest that niche evolution in this clade is punctuated, consistent with accelerated niche evolution after long-distance dispersal events. Finally, we discuss how intrinsic constraints (genetic, developmental, or functional) and biotic interactions could have interacted with these three processes during range expansion. Integrating these mechanisms could improve predictions for invasive taxa and long-term evolutionary responses of expanding clades to climate change. © 2015 by The University of Chicago. 0003-0147/2015/18505-55497$15.00. All rights reserved.

Peter Linder H.,University of Zurich | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg University | Humphreys A.M.,Imperial College London | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: We sought to understand the variables that limit the distribution range of a clade (here the danthonioid grasses). We tested time, area of origin, habitat suitability, disjunction width and nature, and wind direction as possible range determinants. Location: Global, but predominantly the Southern Hemisphere. Methods: We mapped the range of the subfamily Danthonioideae, and used 39,000 locality records and an ensemble modelling approach to define areas with suitable danthonioid habitat. We used a well-sampled, dated phylogeny to estimate the number and direction of historical dispersal events, based on parsimony optimization. We tested for the impact of wind direction on dispersal rate using a likelihood approach, and for the effects of barrier width with a regression approach. Results: We found 17 geographically isolated areas with suitable habitats for danthonioids. All currently suitable Southern Hemisphere areas have been occupied, but three apparently suitable areas in the Northern Hemisphere have not. We infer that southern Africa was first occupied in the Oligocene and that dispersal to the other areas was initiated in the middle Miocene. Inferred dispersal rate was correlated with the width of the disjunctions, up to a distance of 5000 km. There was no support for wind direction having influenced differences in dispersal rate. Main conclusions: The current range of the Danthonioideae can be predicted ecologically (areas with suitable habitat) and historically (the width of the disjunctions separating the areas with suitable habitat and the area of origin). The direction of dispersal is dictated by the area of origin and by serendipity: there is no evidence for general patterns of dispersal, for example for dispersal occurring more frequently over land than over sea or in an easterly versus a westerly direction around the Southern Hemisphere. Thus the range and range-filling of Danthonioideae can be accounted for by surprisingly few variables: habitat suitability, distance between suitable areas, and area of origin. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg University | Sanmartin I.,Real Jardyn Botanico
Systematic Biology | Year: 2011

Chloranthaceae is a small family of flowering plants (65 species) with an extensive fossil record extending back to the Early Cretaceous. Within Chloranthaceae, Hedyosmum is remarkable because of its disjunct distribution-1 species in the Paleotropics and 44 confined to the Neotropics-and a long "temporal gap" between its stem age (Early Cretaceous) and the beginning of the extant radiation (late Cenozoic). Is this gap real, reflecting low diversification and a recent radiation, or the signature of extinction? Here we use paleontological data, relaxed-clock molecular dating, diversification analyses, and parametric ancestral area reconstruction to investigate the timing, tempo, and mode of diversification in Hedyosmum. Our results, based on analyses of plastid and nuclear sequences for 40 species, suggest that the ancestor of Chloranthaceae and the Hedyosmum stem lineages were widespread in the Holarctic in the Late Cretaceous. High extinction rates, possibly associated with Cenozoic climatic fluctuations, may have been responsible for the low extant diversity of the family. Crown group Hedyosmum originated c. 36-43 Ma and colonized South America from the north during the Early-Middle Miocene (c. 20 Ma). This coincided with an increase in diversification rates, probably triggered by the uplift of the Northern Andes from the Mid-Miocene onward. This study illustrates the advantages of combining paleontological, phylogenetic, and biogeographic data to reconstruct the spatiotemporal evolution of an ancient lineage, for which the extant diversity is only a remnant of past radiations. It also shows the difficulties of inferring patterns of lineage diversification when incomplete taxon sampling is combined with high extinction rates. © 2011 The Author(s).

Hughes C.E.,University of Zurich | Pennington R.T.,Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg University
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2013

This paper and this issue attempt to address how, when and why the phenomenal c. 100,000 species of seed plants in tropical America (the Neotropics) arose. It is increasingly clear that an approach focusing on individual major biomes rather than a single aggregate view is useful because of evidence for differing diversification histories among biomes. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that Neotropical-scale diversification patterns are structured more ecologically than geographically, with a key role for phylogenetic niche or biome conservatism. Lower geographical structure reflects the fact that long-distance dispersal, inferred from dated phylogenetic trees, has overcome many supposed dispersal barriers. Overall, high rates of species turnover as inferred from palaeontological and molecular data have been the hallmark of plant evolutionary dynamics in the Neotropics throughout the Cenozoic, with most extant species diversity post-dating the Mid- to Late Miocene, perhaps reflecting the conjunction of both global climatic changes and geological upheavals such as the Neogene uplift of the tropical Andes. Future studies of Neotropical diversification will be facilitated by taxonomically and genetically better sampled phylogenetic analyses, their integration with palaeontological, geological and ecological data, and improved methods to estimate biogeographic history and diversification dynamics at different spatial and temporal scales. Future biome-focused approaches would benefit greatly from better delimitation and mapping of Neotropical biomes. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

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