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Patterns and drivers of phylogenetic structure of pteridophytes in China


Qian, Hong; Kessler, Michael; Deng, Tao; Jin, Yi (2021). Patterns and drivers of phylogenetic structure of pteridophytes in China. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30(9):1835-1846.

Abstract

Aim: Previous studies have found strikingly different geographical patterns of phylogenetic diversity of gymnosperms and angiosperms, which have been suggested to result, in part, from the greater age of the former. To assess the effects of clade age on phylogenetic structure, we assessed phylodiversity patterns of pteridophytes (lycophytes and ferns), which combine ancient and modern lineages, across China.
Location: China.
Time period: Present day.
Taxon: Pteridophytes.
Methods: We divided China into 66 regions and collated species lists of pteridophytes for each region. We then related taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity, and their related metrics, to six climatic variables for pteridophytes as a whole and for different evolutionary clades. We examined the effect of spatial autocorrelation among regional floras on the results.
Results: We found that when all pteridophytes or ferns were considered, the patterns resembled those of gymnosperms, presumably reflecting the effects of several ancient global mass extinctions and the relict distribution of old families. In contrast, when we considered only the modern Polypodiales radiation, which accounts for three-quarters of current fern diversity and is about as old as the angiosperm radiation, we found a pattern similar to that of angiosperms. This pattern is consistent with the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis and suggests that both major groups of land plants have a broadly similar evolutionary trajectory, with most families originating
in tropical conditions and few families adapting to cold and arid conditions.
Main conclusions: Our study shows that the phylogenetic structures of more recently evolved and diversified clades of pteridophytes are fairly consistent with the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, suggesting that the age of the taxon, its physiological adaptations and the global climatic changes that it experienced during its evolutionary history are reflected in the composition of current plant assemblages.

Abstract

Aim: Previous studies have found strikingly different geographical patterns of phylogenetic diversity of gymnosperms and angiosperms, which have been suggested to result, in part, from the greater age of the former. To assess the effects of clade age on phylogenetic structure, we assessed phylodiversity patterns of pteridophytes (lycophytes and ferns), which combine ancient and modern lineages, across China.
Location: China.
Time period: Present day.
Taxon: Pteridophytes.
Methods: We divided China into 66 regions and collated species lists of pteridophytes for each region. We then related taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity, and their related metrics, to six climatic variables for pteridophytes as a whole and for different evolutionary clades. We examined the effect of spatial autocorrelation among regional floras on the results.
Results: We found that when all pteridophytes or ferns were considered, the patterns resembled those of gymnosperms, presumably reflecting the effects of several ancient global mass extinctions and the relict distribution of old families. In contrast, when we considered only the modern Polypodiales radiation, which accounts for three-quarters of current fern diversity and is about as old as the angiosperm radiation, we found a pattern similar to that of angiosperms. This pattern is consistent with the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis and suggests that both major groups of land plants have a broadly similar evolutionary trajectory, with most families originating
in tropical conditions and few families adapting to cold and arid conditions.
Main conclusions: Our study shows that the phylogenetic structures of more recently evolved and diversified clades of pteridophytes are fairly consistent with the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, suggesting that the age of the taxon, its physiological adaptations and the global climatic changes that it experienced during its evolutionary history are reflected in the composition of current plant assemblages.

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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
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Global and Planetary Change
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Global and Planetary Change, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 September 2021
Deposited On:13 Aug 2021 15:11
Last Modified:25 Feb 2024 02:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1466-822X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13349