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Peter Linder H.,University of Zürich | 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.


Gustafsson A.L.S.,Gothenburg University | Gustafsson A.L.S.,University of Oslo | Verola C.F.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010

Background. The temporal origin and diversification of orchids (family Orchidaceae) has been subject to intense debate in the last decade. The description of the first reliable fossil in 2007 enabled a direct calibration of the orchid phylogeny, but little attention has been paid to the potential influence of dating methodology in obtaining reliable age estimates. Moreover, two new orchid fossils described in 2009 have not yet been incorporated in a molecular dating analysis. Here we compare the ages of major orchid clades estimated under two widely used methods, a Bayesian relaxed clock implemented in BEAST and Penalized Likelihood implemented in r8s. We then perform a new family-level analysis by integrating all 3 available fossils and using BEAST. To evaluate how the newly estimated ages may influence the evolutionary interpretation of a species-level phylogeny, we assess divergence times for the South American genus Hoffmannseggella (subfam. Epidendroideae), for which we present an almost complete phylogeny (40 out of 41 species sampled). Results. Our results provide additional support that all extant orchids shared a most recent common ancestor in the Late Cretaceous (∼77 million years ago, Ma). However, we estimate the crown age of the five orchid subfamilies to be generally (∼1-8 Ma) younger than previously calculated under the Penalized Likelihood algorithm and using a single internal fossil calibration. The crown age of Hoffmannseggella is estimated here at ∼11 Ma, some 3 Ma more recently than estimated under Penalized Likelihood. Conclusions. Contrary to recent suggestions that orchid diversification began in a period of global warming, our results place the onset of diversification of the largest orchid subfamilies (Orchidoideae and Epidendroideae) in a period of global cooling subsequent to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum. The diversification of Hoffmannseggella appears even more correlated to late Tertiary climatic fluctuations than previously suggested. With the incorporation of new fossils in the orchid phylogeny and the use of a method that is arguably more adequate given the present data, our results represent the most up-to-date estimate of divergence times in orchids. © 2010 Gustafsson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Wuest R.O.,University of Zürich | 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.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Seed Box, Sweden's largest research programme in the environmental humanities, is now allocating grants to researchers, writers and artists around the world. The projects investigate urgent environmental problems and present new, often artistic methods and pathways forward, aimed at exploring our relationship with the environment. "Until now, the environment has mainly been a subject for natural science and engineering. But environmental issues are also very relevant for the humanities and social sciences. They concern values and human conditions, and these are the domains of the humanities. With the Seed Money we want to nurture good ideas and green initiatives from the humanities, from all round the world," says Cecilia Åsberg, professor of gender, nature and culture at Linköping University and programme director of the Seed Box, which is based at Linköping University. The Seed Box's Seed Money venture aims to foster research in interdisciplinary and environmental humanities, by increasing researcher mobility and facilitating knowledge exchange between Swedish and foreign universities. To this end, 16 projects involving 40 individuals have received funding. The grants will go to exchanges for researchers, writers and artists, and to workshops, travel grants and a project on citizen science. Herbarium 3.0, a project that has secured USD 43,434 (EUR 40,854), investigates the plants around us that we no longer see. Our history is full of collected and pressed plants that have been put into herbaria with data on how, where and when they were found. And yet, despite this robust botanical history, many humans are now notably blind to the plants that share our world. "Plant blindness can make us insensitive to both the lives of plants and the deeply connected history of plant-human interactions. We want to move herbaria out of the archive and back into people's lives," says Tina Gianquitto, associate professor, Colorado School of Mines. The project will create a website where the public can share their experiences and relationships with plants. The narratives will be collected in public gardens around the world, including the New York Botanical Garden and the Gothenburg Botanical Garden in Sweden. The international projects that received funding will collaborate with a Swedish university, to bolster the exchange of knowledge. "The Seed Box: An Environmental Humanities Collaboratory" is a four-year pilot programme funded by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and Formas, the Swedish Research Council. It is based at Linköping University and has received roughly USD 4.9 million (EUR 4.1 million) to advance the environmental humanities in Sweden and worldwide. The call for funding was made in consultation with the Seed Box's funders. Hanna Husberg (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna) Project: Troubled atmosphere: On the governance of air Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 111,000 Erika Sigvardsdotter (Red Cross University College) and Jonas Gren Project: A poetic writer in residence. The return of bacteria - on the dangerous reduction of complex to complicated Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 60,000 Franziska Bedorf (Uppsala University) Project: Travelling exhibition. The Melting Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories: Of People, Land and Climate Change in East Africa. Amount granted: SEK 175,000 Jesse Peterson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) Project: Two-day writer's workshop. Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: An Environmental Humanities Workshop. Amount granted: SEK 88,000 Katherine Gibson (Western Sydney University) Project: Urban Food Economies: Re-thinking Value for 'More-than-Capitalist' Futures. Will cooperate with KTH Royal Institute of Technology Amount granted: SEK 180,000 Tina Gianquitto (Colorado School of Mines, USA) project: Herbaria 3.0. Will cooperate with University of Gothenburg Amount granted: SEK 400,000 Sebastian Ureta (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile) with Linda Soneryd (University of Gothenburg) Project: Assembling transnational toxic bodies: Embodying and mobilizing responsibility on the 'Arica Victims VS Boliden Minerals AB' case Will cooperate with University of Gothenburg Amount granted: SEK 505,000 Marco Armiero (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) Project: The United Toxic Autobiographies of Europe. Amount granted: SEK 365,000 Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw (Western University, Canada) with Maria Svedäng (Stockholm University) Astrida Neimanis, (University of Sydney) Project: The Wild Weathering Collaboratory Amount granted: SEK 275,000 Jennifer Mae Hamilton (University of Sydney) Project: Research travel, Weathering the City Will cooperate with Linköping University Amount granted: SEK 75,000 Åsa Össbo (Umeå University) Project: Damage done: Exploring the ongoing consequences for Sami communities as a result of the Swedish hydropower development. Amount granted: SEK 372,000


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 Zürich | 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.


Antonelli A.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Humphreys A.M.,University of Zürich | Lee W.G.,Landcare Research | Linder H.P.,University of Zürich
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Anthropogenic alteration of biotic distributions and disturbance regimes has dramatically changed the evolutionary context for the differentiation of species traits. Some of the most striking examples in recent centuries have been on islands where flightless birds, which evolved in the absence of mammalian carnivores, have been decimated following the widespread introduction of exotic predators. Until now, no equivalent case has been reported for plants. Here, we make use of robust analytical tools and an exceptionally wellsampled molecular phylogeny to show that a majority of New Zealand danthonioid grasses (Poaceae) may have adapted to the relaxed vertebrate herbivore pressure during the late Cenozoic through the development of a distinctive and unusual habit: abscission of old leaves. This feature occurs in only about 3 percent of the world's roughly 11 000 grass species and has been empirically shown to increase plant productivity but to reduce protection against mammal grazing. This result suggests that release from a selective pressure can lead to species radiations. This seemingly anachronistic adaptation may represent an overlooked factor contributing to the severe decline in the geographical extent and species diversity of New Zealand's indigenous grasslands following the introduction of herbivorous terrestrial mammals in the 19th century. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society.


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.


Persson K.,Gothenburg Botanical Garden | Petersen G.,Copenhagen University | del Hoyo A.,Marimurtra Botanic Garden | Seberg O.,Copenhagen University | Jorgensen T.,Copenhagen University
Taxon | Year: 2011

A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Colchicum (including Bulbocodium and Merendera) is presented. The phylogeny includes all but four of the 100 species and all subspecies currently recognized in the genus, two insufficiently known species (C. mirzoevae, C. stenopetalum), and one cultivated specimen (C. laetum hort.) probably of hybrid origin. The analysis is based on 292 parsimony-informative characters derived from nucleotide sequences from six plastid regions (trnL intron, trnL-trnF IGS, trnY-trnD IGS, trnH-psbA IGS, atpB-rbcL IGS, rps16 intron) and 33 morphological, life history, and chromosomal characters. The genus Colchicum is strongly supported as monophyletic. The morphological data are considerably more homoplasious than the molecular characters, but provide added resolution to the trees derived from a combined analysis. The phylogenetic hypothesis is largely in conflict with the subgenera and sections recognized by Stefanov, and agrees better with some of the informal species groups defined by Persson in earlier publications. Additional data will be needed to resolve all relationships.


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.

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