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Type: Journal article
Title: Most parsimonious areagrams versus fossils: the case of Nothofagus (Nothofagaceae)
Author: Swenson, U.
Hill, R.
Citation: Australian Journal of Botany, 2001; 49(3):367-376
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0067-1924
Statement of
Ulf Swenson and Robert S. Hill
Abstract: Vicariance biogeography uses most parsimonious areagrams in order to explain biogeographic patterns. One notion is that areagrams convey biogeographic information to the extent that alternative palaeogeographic hypotheses are suggested. However, extinctions may distort biogeographic information, leading to areagrams showing area relationships not supported by geological data, and plausible dispersal events might also be overlooked. By the use of the software COMPONENT 2.0, Nothofagus phylogeny was reconciled with the most parsimonious areagrams. Well-preserved fossils, identified to subgenera, were optimised to the reconciled tree. Not all past distributions were predicted by the analysis, and Nothofagus has clearly been present in areas where it cannot have been if strict vicariance is followed. It can therefore be demonstrated that the biogeographic signal in Nothofagus areagrams is incomplete, and that most parsimonious areagrams can be flawed. Areagrams can be a useful tool in historical biogeography, but must be scrutinised within a known geological context and not accepted uncritically as alternative palaeogeographical hypotheses.
Rights: © CSIRO 2001
DOI: 10.1071/BT00027
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 2
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

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