Global history of the ancient monocot family Araceae inferred with models accounting for past continental positions and previous ranges based on fossils

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2012
Authors:Nauheimer, L., Metzler, D., Renner S. S.
Journal:New Phytologist
Start Page:938
Keywords:ancestral area reconstruction, calibration, chronogram, divergence times, integrating fossil geographical ranges, molecular clock models, phylogeny

The family Araceae (3790 species, 117 genera) has one of the oldest fossil records among angiosperms. Ecologically, members of this family range from free-floating aquatics (Pistia and Lemna) to tropical epiphytes. Here, we infer some of the macroevolutionary processes that have led to the worldwide range of this family and test how the inclusion of fossil (formerly occupied) geographical ranges affects biogeographical reconstructions. Using a complete genus-level phylogeny from plastid sequences and outgroups representing the 13 other Alismatales families, we estimate divergence times by applying different clock models and reconstruct range shifts under different models of past continental connectivity, with or without the incorporation of fossil locations. Araceae began to diversify in the Early Cretaceous (when the breakup of Pangea was in its final stages), and all eight subfamilies existed before the K ⁄ T boundary. Early lineages persist in Laurasia, with several relatively recent entries into Africa, South America, South-East Asia and Australia. Water-associated habitats appear to be ancestral in the family, and DNA substitution rates are especially high in free-floating Araceae. Past distributions inferred when fossils are included differ in nontrivial ways from those without fossils. Our complete genus-level time-scale for the Araceae may prove to be useful for ecological and physiological studies.

Licence for content derived from this work: 
Creative Commons Licence
Taxonomic name: 
Wed, 2013-12-18 14:20 -- Anna
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith