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Island hopping, long-distance dispersal and species radiation: historical biogeography of the Coffeeae alliance (Rubiaceae)
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3618-4676
2017 (English)In: Journal of Biogeography, ISSN 0305-0270, E-ISSN 1365-2699, Vol. 44, p. 1966-1979Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. The Western Indian Ocean region (WIOR) is home to a very diverse and largely unique flora that has mainly originated via long-distance dispersals. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the origins of the WIOR biodiversity and to understand the dynamics of colonization events between the islands. We investigate spatial and temporal hypotheses of the routes of dispersal, and compare the dispersal patterns of plants of the Coffeeae alliance (Rubiaceae) and their dispersers. Rubiaceae is the second most species-rich plant family in Madagascar, and includes many endemic genera. The neighbouring archipelagos of the Comoros, Mascarenes and Seychelles also harbour several endemic Rubiaceae.

Location. The islands of the Western Indian Ocean.

Methods. Phylogenetic relationships and divergence times were reconstructed from plastid DNA data of an ingroup sample of 340 species, using Bayesian inference. Ancestral areas and range evolution history were inferred by a maximum likelihood method that takes topological uncertainty into account.

Results. At least 15 arrivals to Madagascar were inferred, the majority of which have taken place within the last 10 Myr. Most dispersal events were supported as being from mainland Africa, but Catunaregam may have dispersed from Asia. Although most Coffeeae alliance lineages are zoochorous, the general pattern of dispersals from Africa is incongruent with the biogeographic origins of the extant Malagasy volant frugivores. Several out-of-Madagascar dispersals were inferred to the neighbouring islands, as well as back-colonizations of Africa.

Main conclusions. The African flora has been of foremost importance as source of dispersal to the islands of the Western Indian Ocean. Following the colonization of Madagascar, rapid radiations appear to have taken place in some clades, and Madagascar has also been an important source area for subsequent dispersal to the Comoros, Mascarenes and Seychelles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 44, p. 1966-1979
Keyword [en]
angiosperm, Comoros, dispersal–extinction–cladogenesis, divergence times, island biogeography, long-distance dispersal, Madagascar, Mascarenes, molecular dating, Seychelles
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2583DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2583DiVA, id: diva2:1162664
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Razafimandimbison, Sylvain
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