Consistent phenological shifts in the making of biodiversity hotspots: the Cape flora.
Warren, B. ; Bakker, F.T. ; Bellstedt, D.U. ; Bytebier, B. ; Claszen-Bockhoff, R. ; Dreyer, L.L. ; Edwards, A. ; Forest, F. ; Galley, C. ; Hardy, C.R. ; Linder, H.P. ; Muasya, A.M. ; Mummenhoff, K. ; Oberlander, K.C. ; Quint, M. ; Richardson, J.E. ; Savolainen, V. ; Schrire, B.D. ; Niet, T. van der; Verboom, G.A. ; Yesson, C. ; Hawkins, J.A. - \ 2011
BMC Evolutionary Biology 11 (2011). - ISSN 1471-2148 - 11 p.
climate-change - southern africa - ecological niches - flowering time - heterogeneous environments - evolutionary responses - adaptive radiation - rapid evolution - fossil record - sequence data
Background The best documented survival responses of organisms to past climate change on short (glacial-interglacial) timescales are distributional shifts. Despite ample evidence on such timescales for local adaptations of populations at specific sites, the long-term impacts of such changes on evolutionary significant units in response to past climatic change have been little documented. Here we use phylogenies to reconstruct changes in distribution and flowering ecology of the Cape flora - South Africa's biodiversity hotspot - through a period of past (Neogene and Quaternary) changes in the seasonality of rainfall over a timescale of several million years. Results Forty-three distributional and phenological shifts consistent with past climatic change occur across the flora, and a comparable number of clades underwent adaptive changes in their flowering phenology (9 clades; half of the clades investigated) as underwent distributional shifts (12 clades; two thirds of the clades investigated). Of extant Cape angiosperm species, 14-41% have been contributed by lineages that show distributional shifts consistent with past climate change, yet a similar proportion (14-55%) arose from lineages that shifted flowering phenology. Conclusions Adaptive changes in ecology at the scale we uncover in the Cape and consistent with past climatic change have not been documented for other floras. Shifts in climate tolerance appear to have been more important in this flora than is currently appreciated, and lineages that underwent such shifts went on to contribute a high proportion of the flora's extant species diversity. That shifts in phenology, on an evolutionary timescale and on such a scale, have not yet been detected for other floras is likely a result of the method used; shifts in flowering phenology cannot be detected in the fossil record.
Origin and diversification of the Greater Cape flora: Ancient species repository, hot-bed of recent radiation, or both?
Verboom, A.G. ; Arhcibald, J.K. ; Bakker, F.T. ; Bellstedt, D.U. ; Conrad, F. ; Dreyer, L.L. ; Forest, F. ; Galley, C. ; Goldblatt, P. ; Henning, J.F. ; Mummenhoff, K. ; Linder, H.P. ; Muasya, A.M. ; Oberlander, K.C. ; Savolainen, V. ; Snijmanm, D.A. ; Niet, T. van der; Nowell, T.L. - \ 2009
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51 (2009)1. - ISSN 1055-7903 - p. 44 - 53.
grass genus ehrharta - south-africa - dna-sequences - biodiversity hotspots - divergence times - moraea iridaceae - evolution - phylogeny - systematics - history
Like island-endemic taxa, whose origins are expected to postdate the appearance of the islands on which they occur, biome-endemic taxa should be younger than the biomes to which they are endemic. Accordingly, the ages of biome-endemic lineages may offer insights into biome history. In this study, we used the ages of multiple lineages to explore the origin and diversification of two southern African biomes whose remarkable floristic richness and endemism has identified them as global biodiversity hotspots (succulent karoo and fynbos). We used parsimony optimization to identify succulent karoo- and fynbos-endemic lineages across 17 groups of plants, for which dated phylogenies had been inferred using a relaxed Bayesian (BEAST) approach. All succulent karoo-endemic lineages were less than 17.5 My old, the majority being younger than 10 My. This is largely consistent with suggestions that this biome is the product of recent radiation, probably triggered by climatic deterioration since the late Miocene. In contrast, fynbos-endemic lineages showed a broader age distribution, with some lineages originating in the Oligocene, but most being more recent. Also, in groups having both succulent karoo- and fynbos-endemic lineages, there was a tendency for the latter to be older. These patterns reflect the greater antiquity of fynbos, but also indicate considerable recent speciation, probably through a combination of climatically-induced refugium fragmentation and adaptive radiation