Abstract Detail


Majure, Lucas [1], Bacci, Lucas [2], Naranjo, Andre [3], Becquer, Eldis R. [4], Skean Jr, James [5], Judd, Walter [6], Michelangeli, Fabian [7].

Biogeography and diversification of the Caribbean Clade (Miconieae, Melastomataceae): a Cuban origin underlies one of the largest Antillean radiations.

The Greater Antilles are renown as a biodiversity hotspot and are known to be geologically very complex, which has presumably led, in part, to the generation of diversity in this area. This is especially the case for the diverse, and often highly endemic, montane flora of the region. One of the most species rich groups within Greater Antilles is the tribe Miconieae of the Melastomataceae with roughly 325 species found there, mostly in montane forests. The most diverse group in the Antilles, the Caribbean clade, composes roughly half of that diversity, with an estimated 160 species, nearly all of which are endemic to the Greater Antilles. However, it is unclear how that diversity was generated through time or where it originated, and we still lack sufficient datasets to test these patterns. Using a custom-built plastome dataset of 104 taxa from the Caribbean clade, we generated a robust phylogenetic hypothesis and tested biogeographic patterns among the islands and major mountain regions, especially between the highly diverse islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. Our results suggest that the Caribbean Clade originated in the mid-Miocene, likely from a central American ancestor, and diversified substantially on the island of Cuba before repeatedly dispersing across other parts of the Greater Antilles, especially into nearby Hispaniola, and then to a lesser extent into Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles. Thus, Cuba was the principal driver of diversification within the Caribbean Clade, which likely can be explained, in part, based on the complex topological and geological diversity of the island. This diversity is especially conspicuous with respect to the degree of serpentine endemism, where Cuba hosts the largest concentration of serpentine endemic plant species for any insular system after New Caledonia.

1 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, Department Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Rd. , Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
2 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Herbarium FLAS, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, OE232 , Miami, FL, 33199, United States
4 - Jardin Botanico Nacional, La Habana, Cuba
5 - Albion College, Biology Dept, 611 E Porter Street, Albion, MI, 49224, United States
6 - University Of Florida, Department Of Biology, 220 Bartram Hall, PO Box 118525, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
7 - The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458, United States

Greater Antilles

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: SYST II006
Abstract ID:524
Candidate for Awards:None

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