Plants will cross the lines: climate and available land mass are the major determinants of phytogeographical patterns in the Sunda-Sahul Convergence Zone

Joyce, Elizabeth M., Thiele, Kevin R., Slik, J. W. Ferry, and Crayn, Darren M. (2021) Plants will cross the lines: climate and available land mass are the major determinants of phytogeographical patterns in the Sunda-Sahul Convergence Zone. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 132 (2). pp. 374-387.

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Abstract

The Miocene convergence of the Sunda shelf, Sahul shelf and Wallacea facilitated the exchange of previously isolated floras across the Sunda-Sahul Convergence Zone (SSCZ). The SSCZ is a hotspot of biogeographical research; however, phytogeographical patterns across the region remain poorly understood. We conducted multivariate analysis on a comprehensive species checklist of SSCZ vascular plants to quantify the extent of exchange, characterize phytogeographical patterns and investigate their abiotic drivers. We found that Lydekker's and Wallace's Lines are not reflected in floristic composition at any taxonomic level, with 46% of genera distributed across these biogeographical lines. In contrast, environment is significantly correlated with floristic composition, with annual rainfall and seasonality being the strongest correlates. Mainland Asia, Borneo, the Philippines, New Guinea and Australia were major routes of exchange throughout the Cenozoic, possibly because these areas have been persistent landmasses throughout the entire period of convergence. We conclude that Sunda-Sahul floristic exchange has substantially influenced the assembly of the regional flora and that modern phytogeographical patterns have been influenced more by environmental variables and available landmass (i.e. establishment conditions) than by putative barriers to movement such as Wallace's and Lydekker's Lines (i.e. vagility).

Item ID: 66922
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8312
Keywords: Australia, floristic exchange, Lydekker's Line, phytogeography, Sahul, Southeast Asia, Sunda, Wallace's Line, Wallacea
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2021 06:51
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310402 Biogeography and phylogeography @ 80%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310411 Plant and fungus systematics and taxonomy @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 30%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 70%
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