Department of Biology

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Henrik Balslev

A dated phylogeny complements macroecological analysis to explain the diversity patterns in Geonoma (Arecaceae)

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  • Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity
Integrating phylogenetic data into macroecological studies of biodiversity patterns may complement the information provided by present-day spatial patterns. In the present study, we used range map data for all Geonoma (Arecaceae) species to assess whether Geonoma species composition forms spatially coherent floristic clusters. We then evaluated the extent to which the spatial variation in species composition reflects present-day environmental variation vs. nonenvironmental spatial effects, as expected if the pattern reflects historical biogeography. We also examined the degree of geographic structure in the Geonoma phylogeny. Finally, we used a dated phylogeny to assess whether species richness within the floristic clusters was constrained by a specific historical biogeographic driver, namely time-for-diversification. A cluster analysis identified six spatially coherent floristic clusters, four of which were used to reveal a significant geographic phylogenetic structure. Variation partitioning analysis showed that 56 percent of the variation in species composition could be explained by spatial variables alone, consistent with historical factors having played a major role in generating the Geonoma diversity pattern. To test for a time-for-diversification effect, we correlated four different species richness measures with the diversification time of the earliest large lineage that is characteristic of each cluster. In support of this hypothesis, we found that geographic areas with higher richness contained older radiations. We conclude that current geographic diversity patterns in Geonoma reflect the present-day climate, but to a larger extent are related to nonenvironmental spatial constraints linked to colonization time, dispersal limitation, and geological history, followed by within-area evolutionary diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-334
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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