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Historical biogeography and phylogeny of the pantropical Psychotrieae alliance (Rubiaceae), with particular emphasis on the Western Indian Ocean Region
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3618-4676
2017 (English)In: American Journal of Botany, ISSN 0002-9122, E-ISSN 1537-2197, Vol. 104, p. 1407-1423Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The Western Indian Ocean Region (WIOR) is a biodiversity hotspot providing an ideal setting for exploring the origins of insular biodiversity and dynamics of island colonization. We aimed to investigate the origins of the WIOR Psychotrieae alliance (Rubiaceae) with typically small, probably mainly bird-dispersed drupes, and the timing and direction or sequence of its colonization events in the region.

METHODS: We used the program BEAST to estimate divergence times and Lagrange for biogeographic reconstruction.

KEY RESULTS: The alliance has reached the WIOR at least 14 times via dispersals from Africa along with Asia and the Pacifi c mostly during the last 10 My, with at least one back-colonization to Africa. We inferred the earliest dispersal to Madagascar from the Pacifi c or Asia in the Miocene and numerous out-of-Madagascar dispersals to the nearby archipelagos but no dispersal out of those archipelagos. Gynochthodes with multiple fruits reached Madagascar twice from the Pacifi c possibly via ocean drifting. Psychotria with dry fruits (schizocarps) colonized Madagascar from the Pacific or Asia before reaching the Comoros from Madagascar possibly via wind dispersal.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reinforces the pivotal role of dispersal in shaping the WIOR biodiversity and as the critical initiating step in the generation of endemic biodiversity on its islands. The WIOR alliance shows strong Asian and Pacifi c affi nities despite the proximity of the region to Africa. Madagascar has served as a stepping-stone for subsequent dispersal to the rest of the region. The Afro-Malagasy-Seychelles genus Craterispermum and the Malagasy Puffia may represent relictual lineages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 104, p. 1407-1423
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2582DOI: https:/10.3732/ajb.1700116OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2582DiVA, id: diva2:1162656
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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