Institut for Biologi

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

J.-C. Svenning

Tectonics, climate and the diversification of the tropical African terrestrial flora and fauna

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

  • Thomas L.P. Couvreur, Universite de Montpellier
  • ,
  • Gilles Dauby, Universite de Montpellier, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • ,
  • Anne Blach-Overgaard
  • Vincent Deblauwe, University of California at Los Angeles, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan
  • ,
  • Steven Dessein, Botanic Garden Meise
  • ,
  • Vincent Droissart, Universite de Montpellier, University of Yaoundé I, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Missouri Botanical Garden
  • ,
  • Oliver J. Hardy, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • ,
  • David J. Harris, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • ,
  • Steven B. Janssens, Botanic Garden Meise
  • ,
  • Alexandra C. Ley, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • ,
  • Barbara A. Mackinder, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • ,
  • Bonaventure Sonké, University of Yaoundé I
  • ,
  • Marc S.M. Sosef, Botanic Garden Meise
  • ,
  • Tariq Stévart, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Missouri Botanical Garden
  • ,
  • Jens Christian Svenning
  • Jan J. Wieringa, Naturalis National Museum of Natural History
  • ,
  • Adama Faye, Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research
  • ,
  • Alain D. Missoup, University of Douala
  • ,
  • Krystal A. Tolley, South African National Biodiversity Institute, University of the Witwatersrand
  • ,
  • Violaine Nicolas, Sorbonne Université
  • ,
  • Stéphan Ntie, Université des Sciences et Techniques de Masuku
  • ,
  • Frédiéric Fluteau, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris
  • ,
  • Cécile Robin, CNRS
  • ,
  • Francois Guillocheau, CNRS
  • ,
  • Doris Barboni, Aix-Marseille Université
  • ,
  • Pierre Sepulchre, Universite Paris-Saclay

Tropical Africa is home to an astonishing biodiversity occurring in a variety of ecosystems. Past climatic change and geological events have impacted the evolution and diversification of this biodiversity. During the last two decades, around 90 dated molecular phylogenies of different clades across animals and plants have been published leading to an increased understanding of the diversification and speciation processes generating tropical African biodiversity. In parallel, extended geological and palaeoclimatic records together with detailed numerical simulations have refined our understanding of past geological and climatic changes in Africa. To date, these important advances have not been reviewed within a common framework. Here, we critically review and synthesize African climate, tectonics and terrestrial biodiversity evolution throughout the Cenozoic to the mid-Pleistocene, drawing on recent advances in Earth and life sciences. We first review six major geo-climatic periods defining tropical African biodiversity diversification by synthesizing 89 dated molecular phylogeny studies. Two major geo-climatic factors impacting the diversification of the sub-Saharan biota are highlighted. First, Africa underwent numerous climatic fluctuations at ancient and more recent timescales, with tectonic, greenhouse gas, and orbital forcing stimulating diversification. Second, increased aridification since the Late Eocene led to important extinction events, but also provided unique diversification opportunities shaping the current tropical African biodiversity landscape. We then review diversification studies of tropical terrestrial animal and plant clades and discuss three major models of speciation: (i) geographic speciation via vicariance (allopatry); (ii) ecological speciation impacted by climate and geological changes, and (iii) genomic speciation via genome duplication. Geographic speciation has been the most widely documented to date and is a common speciation model across tropical Africa. We conclude with four important challenges faced by tropical African biodiversity research: (i) to increase knowledge by gathering basic and fundamental biodiversity information; (ii) to improve modelling of African geophysical evolution throughout the Cenozoic via better constraints and downscaling approaches; (iii) to increase the precision of phylogenetic reconstruction and molecular dating of tropical African clades by using next generation sequencing approaches together with better fossil calibrations; (iv) finally, as done here, to integrate data better from Earth and life sciences by focusing on the interdisciplinary study of the evolution of tropical African biodiversity in a wider geodiversity context.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBiological Reviews
Vol/bind96
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)16-51
Antal sider36
ISSN1464-7931
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2021

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 197769066