Abstract Detail


Moore, Michael J. [1], Last, Noah [2], Edwards, Caroline [3], Douglas, Norman [4], Flores Olvera, Hilda [5], Ochoterena, Helga [5], Friis, Ib [6], Petersen, Gitte [6], Thulin, Mats [7].

The explosive global diversification of Commicarpus (Nyctaginaceae).

Most genera of Nyctagineae, the largest tribe of Nyctaginaceae, are composed of herbs to shrubs of dry areas and have a clear center of diversity and origin in North America. The only exception to this rule is Commicarpus, a genus of ~35 species with a clear center of diversity in eastern and southern Africa. Despite this concentration, Commicarpus species can be found throughout drier regions of the tropics, including North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, southern and southeast Asia, and Australia. In some ways, Commicarpus is the most morphologically diverse genus in tribe Nyctagineae. It is especially variable in habit and floral form, ranging from scandent herbs to small trees, and from small green flowers to large pink flowers. Where did Commicarpus originate, and what route(s) did it take while diversifying across the globe? To address these questions, we have estimated a phylogeny of the genus using a data set of two nuclear and five plastid loci for nearly all Commicarpus species. We find that Commicarpus originated in the Americas and then rapidly colonized the paleotropics in a single burst of diversification, yielding an essentially unresolvable backbone phylogeny for the paleotropical taxa. The rapid colonization of the paleotropics was undoubtedly aided by the glandular, sticky fruits of Commicarpus. We also find multiple origins of gypsum endemism in Commicarpus in the Horn of Africa region, providing yet more examples of the affinity of tribe Nyctagineae for gypsum.

Related Links:
The Origin and Evolution of Gypsum Endemic Plants

1 - Oberlin College, Department Of Biology, 119 Woodland St., Science Center K111, Oberlin, OH, 44074, United States
2 - Oberlin College, Department of Biology, 119 Woodland St., Oberlin, OH, 44074, USA
3 - Oberlin College, Department of Biology, 119 Woodland St., Oberlin, OH, 44074, United States
4 - University Of Florida, Biology, PO Box 118525, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
5 - Instituto de BiologĂ­a, UNAM, Apartado Postal 70-367, Mexico, DF, 04510, Mexico
6 - Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Gothersgade 130, Copenhagen, 1123, Denmark
7 - Uppsala University, Department of Organismal Biology, Norbyv. 18D, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:525
Candidate for Awards:None

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