Climate, soils and vicariance: their roles in shaping the diversity and distribution of Nepenthes in Southeast Asia

Clarke, Charles, and Moran, Jonathan A. (2016) Climate, soils and vicariance: their roles in shaping the diversity and distribution of Nepenthes in Southeast Asia. Plant and Soil, 403 (1). pp. 37-51.

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Background: The Palaeotropical pitcher plant genus Nepenthes (Nepenthaceae) is characterized by specialized nutrient sequestration strategies, narrow endemism, and a patchy distribution in which vicariance is believed to have played a fundamental role.

Scope: Using recent studies of the effects of climate, soil type and vicariance, we review patterns of diversity and endemism in Nepenthes. First we consider how climate influences the geographical range of the genus and diversity of prey trapping mechanisms. Second, we examine edaphic influences, specifically the relationship between limestone and ultramafic soils and the obligate edaphic endemic Nepenthes that inhabit them. Third, we examine the role of vicariance, with regards to the patchy distribution of suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia, and the passive dispersal mechanism of Nepenthes seeds.

Conclusions: Climate is the principal determinant of variation in pitcher functional traits and in perhumid environments, may drive the evolution of alternative nutrient sequestration strategies. Although little is known about the ecophysiological relationships between soil type and obligate edaphic Nepenthes, ultramafic and limestone substrates may strongly influence vegetation physiognomy, creating a diversity of environmental niches that are exploited by specialized Nepenthes species. Finally, the complex geology and geography of the Malay Archipelago drives diversification through vicariance.

Item ID: 43380
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5036
Keywords: carnivorous plants; climate; diversification; edaphic endemism; seed dispersal; trapping mechanism; vegetation physiognomy vicariance
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 04:07
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310402 Biogeography and phylogeography @ 60%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 20%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310411 Plant and fungus systematics and taxonomy @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960803 Documentation of Undescribed Flora and Fauna @ 60%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 40%
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