Resolving the Azorean knot: a response to Carine & Schaefer (2010)

Authors

  • Kostas A. Triantis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
    2. Biodiversity Research Group, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
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  • Joaquín Hortal,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
    2. Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
    3. Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, 74001-970 Goiania, GO, Brazil
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  • Isabel Amorim,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
    2. School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
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  • Pedro Cardoso,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
    2. Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution NW, MRC 105, Room E-509, Washington, DC 20560-0105, USA
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  • Ana M. C. Santos,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
    2. Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, 74001-970 Goiania, GO, Brazil
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  • Rosalina Gabriel,

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
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  • Paulo A. V. Borges

    1. Azorean Biodiversity Group CITA-A, Universidade dos Açores, Pico da Urze, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Açores, Portugal
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E-mail: konstantinos.triantis@ouce.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Carine & Schaefer (Journal of Biogeography, 2010, 37, 77–89) suggest that the lack of past climate oscillations in the Azores may have contributed to the low plant endemism in this archipelago compared to that of the Canary Islands, a pattern they term the Azorean diversity enigma. Here we challenge their hypothesis, and discuss how the particular characteristics of the Azores may have driven current diversification patterns in this archipelago. We argue that the restricted number of Azorean endemic species and their wide distribution is explicable by the geological, geographical and ecological attributes of the archipelago. That is, the Azores are too young, too small, and too environmentally homogeneous to have hosted many in situ diversification events, so they do not host as many endemic species as other Macaronesian archipelagos, such as Madeira and especially the Canary Islands.

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