Repeat intercontinental dispersal and Pleistocene speciation in disjunct Mediterranean and desert Senecio (Asteraceae)

M Coleman, A Liston, J W Kadereit, R J Abbott

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99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To explore the biogeographic history of Mediterranean/arid plant disjunctions, Old and New World Senecio sect. Senecio were analyzed phylogenetically using nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences (ITS). A clade corresponding to sect. Senecio was strongly supported. Area optimization indicated this clade to be of southern African origin. The Mediterranean and southern African floras were not distinguishable as sources of the main New World lineage, estimated to have become established during the middle Pliocene. Another previously Suspected recent dispersal to the New World from the Mediterranean was confirmed for the recently recognized disjunction in S. mohavensis. The loss of suitable land connections by the Miocene means that both New World lineages must represent long-distance dispersal, providing the first evidence of repeat intercontinental dispersal in a Mediterranean group. In contrast, migration within Africa may have utilized an East African arid corridor. Recent dispersal to northern Africa is supported for S. flavils, which formed part of a distinct southern African lineage. Novel pappus modifications in both disjunct species may have enabled dispersal by birds. An estimated early Pliocene origin of sect. Senecio coincides with the appearance of summer-dry climate. However, diversification from 1.6 BP highlights the importance of Pleistocene climate fluctuations for speciation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1454
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume90
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Asteraceae
  • biogeography
  • Corupositae
  • ITS
  • Mediterranean flora
  • molecular clocks
  • phylogeny
  • plant disjunction
  • Senecio
  • MADREAN-TETHYAN HYPOTHESIS
  • TRANSCRIBED SPACER REGION
  • ICE AGES
  • STYRAX STYRACACEAE
  • DNA SUBSTITUTION
  • SEQUENCE DATA
  • SOUTH-AFRICA
  • CAPE FLORA
  • BIOGEOGRAPHY
  • PHYLOGENY

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