As pointed out by Alwyn Gentry over thirty years ago, the current geographical patterns of Neotropical plant lineages results from an interplay of the uplift of the Andes and of migration from and into South America.
Using plastid genome sequences, we have reconstructed a phylogenetic hypothesis for three plant lineages: Chrysobalanaceae, Humiriaceae, and Sapotaceae, subfamily Chrysophylloideae.
I will use these recent results to discuss the establishment of Neotropical plant diversity since the Eocene, and will argue that in situ diversification played a prominent role relative to migration patterns. In situ diversification must in part be related with novel, rather recent, ecological opportunities.
I will finally discuss how recent methods of the measurement of leaf-level drought tolerance may be highly relevant functional traits for inferring phylogenetic niche shifts.
* Jérôme will also be giving a CSIRO seminar during his visit to Canberra: Estimating carbon stocks and fluxes in the tropics: scaling issues.
- Waterhouse Lecture Theatre, Bld 101, CSIRO Black Mountain, Wed 25 Mar, 12pm
- Contact Keryn.Paul@csiro.au