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Contrasting plant diversification histories within the Andean biodiversity hotspot


Pennington, R T; Lavin, M; Särkinen, T; Lewis, G P; Klitgaard, B B; Hughes, C E (2010). Contrasting plant diversification histories within the Andean biodiversity hotspot. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 107(31):13783-13787.

Abstract

The Andes are the most species-rich global biodiversity hotspot. Most research and conservation attention in the Andes has focused on biomes such as rain forest, cloud forest, and páramo, where much plant species diversity is the hypothesized result of rapid speciation associated with the recent Andean orogeny. In contrast to these mesic biomes, we present evidence for a different, older diversification history in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) occupying rain-shadowed inter-Andean valleys. High DNA sequence divergence in Cyathostegia mathewsii, a shrub endemic to inter-Andean SDTF, indicates isolation for at least 5 million years of populations separated by only ca. 600 km of high cordillera in Peru. In conjunction with fossil evidence indicating the presence of SDTF in the Andes in the late Miocene, our data suggest that the disjunct small valley pockets of inter-Andean SDTF have persisted over millions of years. These forests are rich in endemic species but massively impacted, and merit better representation in future plans for science and conservation in Andean countries.

Abstract

The Andes are the most species-rich global biodiversity hotspot. Most research and conservation attention in the Andes has focused on biomes such as rain forest, cloud forest, and páramo, where much plant species diversity is the hypothesized result of rapid speciation associated with the recent Andean orogeny. In contrast to these mesic biomes, we present evidence for a different, older diversification history in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) occupying rain-shadowed inter-Andean valleys. High DNA sequence divergence in Cyathostegia mathewsii, a shrub endemic to inter-Andean SDTF, indicates isolation for at least 5 million years of populations separated by only ca. 600 km of high cordillera in Peru. In conjunction with fossil evidence indicating the presence of SDTF in the Andes in the late Miocene, our data suggest that the disjunct small valley pockets of inter-Andean SDTF have persisted over millions of years. These forests are rich in endemic species but massively impacted, and merit better representation in future plans for science and conservation in Andean countries.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:23 Jan 2011 18:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:36
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1001317107
PubMed ID:20643954

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