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Niche overlap and divergence times support niche conservatism in eastern Asia–eastern North America disjunct plants

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  • Xue Yin, Sun Yat-Sen University, Aarhus Universitet
  • ,
  • Scott Jarvie, Otago Regional Council
  • ,
  • Wen Yong Guo
  • Tao Deng, CAS - Kunming Institute of Botany
  • ,
  • Lingfeng Mao, Nanjing Forestry University
  • ,
  • Minhua Zhang, East China Normal University
  • ,
  • Chengjin Chu, Sun Yat-Sen University
  • ,
  • Hong Qian, Illinois State Museum
  • ,
  • Jens Christian Svenning
  • Fangliang He, East China Normal University, University of Alberta

Aim: The plant species sharing ancestors now disjunctly distributed in eastern Asia (EAS) and eastern North America (ENA) have long been a biogeographic puzzle. Species within the EAS–ENA disjunct genera are presumed to exhibit niche conservatism, the tendency of closely related species to be more ecologically similar, reflecting lineages’ common evolutionary history. However, the hypothesis has not been well examined at the species level. Location: EAS and ENA. Time period: Current. Major taxa studied: Species within the EAS–ENA disjunct genera. Methods: We compiled data on climate, species occurrence, growth form, and phylogeny to examine niche conservatism. We first built a phylogenetic tree to select intercontinental congeneric pairwise species and obtained their divergence times. We then quantified the observed niche overlaps with Schoener’s D, which has a 0–1 range, based on species occurrence and climate of species’ native ranges. To obtain projected distributions, each species’ niche was projected to the non-native region using ensemble ecological niche models. Projected-related niche overlaps were then calculated using projected distributions and the corresponding climatic conditions. Results: Average observed niche overlaps of congeneric pairwise species were relatively small:.124,.211 and.109 for all, herbaceous and woody species, respectively. Both observed and projected-related niche overlaps had significant negative relationships with divergence times of intercontinental congeneric pairwise species, with niche overlap for herbaceous species being higher than that for woody plants when controlling for divergence times. Main conclusions: We conclude that the significant negative relationships between niche overlap and divergence times of congeneric pairwise species confirm niche conservatism among species of EAS–ENA disjunct plants and that the extent of niche conservatism is slightly different for herbaceous and woody plants. These findings suggest the potential role of allopatric speciation in EAS, and could help to understand the evolutionary history and the Asian-bias diversity pattern of the EAS–ENA disjunct plants.

TidsskriftGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Sider (fra-til)1990-2003
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2021

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