Laurasian migration explains Gondwanan disjunctions: evidence from Malpighiaceae.
ABSTRACT: Explanations for biogeographic disjunctions involving South America and Africa typically invoke vicariance of western Gondwanan biotas or long distance dispersal. These hypotheses are problematical because many groups originated and diversified well after the last known connection between Africa and South America (approximately 105 million years ago), and it is unlikely that "sweepstakes" dispersal accounts for many of these disjunctions. Phylogenetic analyses of the angiosperm clade Malpighiaceae, combined with fossil evidence and molecular divergence-time estimates, suggest an alternative hypothesis to account for such distributions. We propose that Malpighiaceae originated in northern South America, and that members of several clades repeatedly migrated into North America and subsequently moved via North Atlantic land connections into the Old World during episodes starting in the Eocene, when climates supported tropical forests. This Laurasian migration route may explain many other extant lineages that exhibit western Gondwanan distributions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Ampelopsis clade (Ampelopsis and its close allies) of the grape family Vitaceae contains ca. 43 species disjunctly distributed in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Australia, and is a rare example to study both the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere intercontinental disjunctions. We reconstruct the temporal and spatial diversification of the Ampelopsis clade to explore the evolutionary processes that have resulted in their intercontinental disjunctions in six continents. RESULTS: The Bayesian molecular clock dating and the likelihood ancestral area analyses suggest that the Ampelopsis clade most likely originated in North America with its crown group dated at 41.2 Ma (95% HPD 23.4-61.0 Ma) in the middle Eocene. Two independent Laurasian migrations into Eurasia are inferred to have occurred in the early Miocene via the North Atlantic land bridges. The ancestor of the Southern Hemisphere lineage migrated from North America to South America in the early Oligocene. The Gondwanan-like pattern of intercontinental disjunction is best explained by two long-distance dispersals: once from South America to Africa estimated at 30.5 Ma (95% HPD 16.9-45.9 Ma), and the other from South America to Australia dated to 19.2 Ma (95% HPD 6.7-22.3 Ma). CONCLUSIONS: The global disjunctions in the Ampelopsis clade are best explained by a diversification model of North American origin, two Laurasian migrations, one migration into South America, and two post-Gondwanan long-distance dispersals. These findings highlight the importance of both vicariance and long distance dispersal in shaping intercontinental disjunctions of flowering plants.
Project description:The flowering plant family Elatinaceae is a widespread aquatic lineage inhabiting temperate and tropical latitudes, including ?35(-50) species. Its phylogeny remains largely unknown, compromising our understanding of its systematics. Moreover, this group is particularly in need of attention because the biogeography of most aquatic plant clades has yet to be investigated, resulting in uncertainty about whether aquatic plants show histories that deviate from terrestrial plants. We inferred the phylogeny of Elatinaceae from four DNA regions spanning 59 accessions across the family. An expanded sampling was used for molecular divergence time estimation and ancestral area reconstruction to infer the biogeography of Elatinaceae and their closest terrestrial relatives, Malpighiaceae and Centroplacaceae. The two genera of Elatinaceae, Bergia and Elatine, are monophyletic, but several traditionally recognized groups within the family are non-monophyletic. Our results suggest two ancient biogeographic events in the Centroplacaceae(Malpighiaceae, Elatinaceae) clade involving western Gondwana, while Elatinaceae shows a more complicated biogeographic history with a high degree of continental endemicity. Our results indicate the need for further taxonomic investigation of Elatinaceae. Further, our study is one of few to implicate ancient Gondwanan biogeography in extant angiosperms, especially significant given the Centroplacaceae(Malpighiaceae, Elatinaceae) clade's largely tropical distribution. Finally, Elatinaceae demonstrates long-term continental in situ diversification, which argues against recent dispersal as a universal explanation commonly invoked for aquatic plant distributions.
Project description:Hiptage is an Asia-endemic genus of Malpighiaceae currently placed in the tetrapteroid clade, representing one of the seven inter-continent dispersions from New to Old World. A molecular phylogeny based on sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was recovered for the first time for the genus. Our results showed that the most recent common ancestor of Hiptage probably originated in the South Indo-China Peninsula and diversified in this region. Based on phylogenetic evidence and relevant morphological traits, we propose a new species; Hiptage incurvatum is characterised by mericarps with arcuate anterior lateral wings, two large glands on the dorsal sepals, and small glands on the remaining sepals. The new species is from Mt. Cangshan, Dali City (25°35'N, 100°02'E) in North Yunnan, Southwest China and is notable for its occurrence at high altitude, 1400 m (the highest distribution currently known for the genus). The implications of this unusual species for the dispersal and evolution of the genus are discussed.
Project description:Biogeography and community ecology can mutually illuminate the formation of a regional species pool or biome. Here, we apply phylogenetic methods to a large and diverse plant clade, Malpighiaceae, to characterize the formation of its species pool in Mexico, and its occupancy of the seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF) biome that occurs there. We find that the ~162 species of Mexican Malpighiaceae represent ~33 dispersals from South America beginning in the Eocene and continuing until the Pliocene (~46.4-3.8 Myr). Furthermore, dispersal rates between South America and Mexico show a significant six-fold increase during the mid-Miocene (~23.9 Myr). We hypothesize that this increase marked the availability of Central America as an important corridor for Neotropical plant migration. We additionally demonstrate that this high rate of dispersal contributed substantially more to the phylogenetic diversity of Malpighiaceae in Mexico than in situ diversification. Finally, we show that most lineages arrived in Mexico pre-adapted with regard to one key SDTF trait, total annual precipitation. In contrast, these lineages adapted to a second key trait, precipitation seasonality, in situ as mountain building in the region gave rise to the abiotic parameters of extant SDTF. The timing of this in situ adaptation to seasonal precipitation suggests that SDTF likely originated its modern characteristics by the late Oligocene, but was geographically more restricted until its expansion in the mid-Miocene. These results highlight the complex interplay of dispersal, adaptation, and in situ diversification in the formation of tropical biomes. Our results additionally demonstrate that these processes are not static, and their relevance can change markedly over evolutionary time. This has important implications for understanding the origin of SDTF in Mexico, but also for understanding the temporal and spatial origin of biomes and regional species pools more broadly.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Tertiary relict and Arctic/circumboreal distributions are two major patterns of Northern Hemisphere intercontinental disjunctions with very different histories. Each has been well researched, but members of one biome have generally not been incorporated in the biogeographical analyses of the other, and links or transitions between these two biomes have rarely been addressed. METHODS:Phylogenies of Chimaphila were generated based on cpDNA and nuclear ITS, using Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods. A time-calibrated phylogeny was generated using BEAST. Ancestral area reconstruction was inferred using both statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis and a dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model. KEY RESULTS:The Chimaphila crown group was estimated to have originated in the early Miocene. The lineages of C. umbellata diverged early, but its present circumboreal distribution was not achieved until around the middle Pliocene or later. Sister to this is a clade of four species with Tertiary relict distribution. Among these, two expansions occurred from North America to Asia, probably via the Bering Land Bridge, generating its current disjunctions. CONCLUSIONS:Our data concur with a few other studies, indicating that the circumboreal woodland biome has an older origin than most true Arctic-alpine taxa, having gradually recruited taxa since the early Oligocene. For the origin of Asia-North America disjunctions in Chimaphila, an 'out-of-America' migration was supported. It is not clear in which direction Pyroloideae lineages moved between Tertiary relict disjunctions and Arctic/circumboreal distributions; each biome might have recruited species from the other.
Project description:Most extant genus-level radiations in gymnosperms are of Oligocene age or younger, reflecting widespread extinction during climate cooling at the Oligocene/Miocene boundary [?23 million years ago (Ma)]. Recent biogeographic studies have revealed many instances of long-distance dispersal in gymnosperms as well as in angiosperms. Acting together, extinction and long-distance dispersal are likely to erase historical biogeographic signals. Notwithstanding this problem, we show that phylogenetic relationships in the gymnosperm family Cupressaceae (162 species, 32 genera) exhibit patterns expected from the Jurassic/Cretaceous breakup of Pangea. A phylogeny was generated for 122 representatives covering all genera, using up to 10,000 nucleotides of plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear sequence per species. Relying on 16 fossil calibration points and three molecular dating methods, we show that Cupressaceae originated during the Triassic, when Pangea was intact. Vicariance between the two subfamilies, the Laurasian Cupressoideae and the Gondwanan Callitroideae, occurred around 153 Ma (124-183 Ma), when Gondwana and Laurasia were separating. Three further intercontinental disjunctions involving the Northern and Southern Hemisphere are coincidental with or immediately followed the breakup of Pangea.
Project description:AIM:Scaly tree ferns, Cyatheaceae, are a well-supported group of mostly tree-forming ferns found throughout the tropics, the subtropics and the south-temperate zone. Fossil evidence shows that the lineage originated in the Late Jurassic period. We reconstructed large-scale historical biogeographical patterns of Cyatheaceae and tested the hypothesis that some of the observed distribution patterns are in fact compatible, in time and space, with a vicariance scenario related to the break-up of Gondwana. LOCATION:Tropics, subtropics and south-temperate areas of the world. METHODS:The historical biogeography of Cyatheaceae was analysed in a maximum likelihood framework using Lagrange. The 78 ingroup taxa are representative of the geographical distribution of the entire family. The phylogenies that served as a basis for the analyses were obtained by Bayesian inference analyses of mainly previously published DNA sequence data using MrBayes. Lineage divergence dates were estimated in a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo framework using beast. RESULTS:Cyatheaceae originated in the Late Jurassic in either South America or Australasia. Following a range expansion, the ancestral distribution of the marginate-scaled clade included both these areas, whereas Sphaeropteris is reconstructed as having its origin only in Australasia. Within the marginate-scaled clade, reconstructions of early divergences are hampered by the unresolved relationships among the Alsophila, Cyathea and Gymnosphaera lineages. Nevertheless, it is clear that the occurrence of the Cyathea and Sphaeropteris lineages in South America may be related to vicariance, whereas transoceanic dispersal needs to be inferred for the range shifts seen in Alsophila and Gymnosphaera. MAIN CONCLUSIONS:The evolutionary history of Cyatheaceae involves both Gondwanan vicariance scenarios as well as long-distance dispersal events. The number of transoceanic dispersals reconstructed for the family is rather few when compared with other fern lineages. We suggest that a causal relationship between reproductive mode (outcrossing) and dispersal limitations is the most plausible explanation for the pattern observed.
Project description:Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian-Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America.
Project description:Gondwanan vicariance, long-distance dispersal (LDD), and boreotropical migration have been proposed as alternative hypotheses explaining the pantropical distribution pattern of organisms. In this study, the historical biogeography of the pond skater genus Limnogonus was reconstructed to evaluate the impact of biogeographical scenarios in shaping their modern transoceanic disjunction. We sampled almost 65% of recognized Limnogonus species. Four DNA fragments including 69 sequences were used to reconstruct a phylogram. Divergence time was estimated using a Bayesian relaxed clock method and three fossil calibrations. Diversification dynamics and ancestral area reconstruction were investigated by using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. Our results showed the crown group of Limnogonus originated and diversified in Africa in the early Eocene (49 Ma, HPD: 38-60 Ma), subsequently expanding into other regions via dispersal. The colonization of the New World originated from the Oriental Region probably via the Bering Land Bridge in the late Eocene. Two split events between the Old World and New World were identified: one between Neotropics and Oriental region around the middle Oligocene (30 Ma, HPD: 22-38 Ma), and the other between Neotropics and Africa during the middle Miocene (14 Ma, HPD: 8-21 Ma). The evolutionary history of Limnogonus involved two biogeographical processes. Gondwanan vicariance was not supported in our analyses. The diversification of Limnogonus among Africa, Oriental, and Neotropical regions corresponded with the age of land bridge connection and dispersed as a member associated with the broad boreotropical belt before local cooling (34 Ma). The current transoceanic disjunctions in Limnogonus could be better explained by the disruption of "mixed-mesophytic" forest belt; however, the direct transoceanic LDD between the Neotropics and Africa could not be ruled out. In addition, the "LDD" model coupled with island hopping could be a reasonable explanation for the diversification of the Oriental and Australian regions during the Oligocene.
Project description:Hiptagepauciflora Y.H. Tan & Bin Yang and Hiptageferruginea Y.H. Tan & Bin Yang, two new species of Malpighiaceae from Yunnan, South-western China are here described and illustrated. Morphologically, H.pauciflora Y.H. Tan & Bin Yang is similar to H.benghalensis (L.) Kurz and H.multiflora F.N. Wei; H.ferruginea Y.H. Tan & Bin Yang is similar to H.calcicola Sirirugsa. The major differences amongst these species are outlined and discussed. A diagnostic key to the two new species of Hiptage and their closely related species is provided.