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Anne Blach-Overgaard

Cradles and museums of generic plant diversity across tropical Africa

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DOI

  • Léo-Paul M J Dagallier, DIADE, IRD, Univ. Montpellier, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34394, Montpellier, France.
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  • Steven B Janssens, Meise Botanic Garden, Nieuwelaan 38, BE-1860, Meise, Belgium.
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  • Gilles Dauby, AMAP, IRD, CIRAD, CNRS, INRA, Univ. Montpellier, Bd de la Lironde, 34398, Montpellier, France.
  • ,
  • Anne Blach-Overgaard
  • Barbara A Mackinder, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
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  • Vincent Droissart, AMAP, IRD, CIRAD, CNRS, INRA, Univ. Montpellier, Bd de la Lironde, 34398, Montpellier, France.
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  • Jens-Christian Svenning
  • Marc S M Sosef, Meise Botanic Garden, Nieuwelaan 38, BE-1860, Meise, Belgium.
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  • Tariq Stévart, Missouri Botanical Garden, Africa & Madagascar Department, St. Louis, Missouri, 631109, USA.
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  • David J Harris, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
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  • Bonaventure Sonké, Laboratoire de Botanique systématique et d'Écologie, Département des Sciences Biologiques, École Normale Supérieure, Université de Yaoundé I, BP 047, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
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  • Jan J Wieringa, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg 2, 2333 CR, Leiden, The Netherlands.
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  • Olivier J Hardy, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Faculté des Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Av. F.D, Roosevelt 50, 1050, Brussels, Belgium.
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  • Thomas L P Couvreur, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg 2, 2333 CR, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Determining where species diversify (cradles) and persist (museums) over evolutionary time is fundamental to understanding the distribution of biodiversity and for conservation prioritization. Here, we identify cradles and museums of angiosperm generic diversity across tropical Africa, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. Regions containing non-random concentrations of young (neo-) and old (paleo-) endemic taxa were identified using distribution data of 1719 genera combined with a newly generated time-calibrated mega-phylogenetic tree. We then compared the identified regions with the current network of African protected areas (PAs). At the generic level, phylogenetic diversity and endemism are mainly concentrated in the biogeographically complex region of Eastern Africa. We show that mountainous areas are centres of both neo- and paleo-endemism. In contrast, the Guineo-Congolian lowland rain forest region is characterised by widespread and old lineages. We found that overlap between centres of phylogenetic endemism and PAs is high (> 85%). We show the vital role played by mountains acting simultaneously as cradles and museums of tropical African plant biodiversity. In contrast, lowland rain forests act mainly as museums for generic diversity. Our study shows that incorporating large-scale taxonomically verified distribution datasets and mega-phylogenies lead to an improved understanding of tropical plant biodiversity evolution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume225
Issue5
Pages (from-to)2196-2213
Number of pages18
ISSN0028-646X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • CANAPE, East Africa, angiosperms, endemism, mountains, phylogenetic diversity, protected areas

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