These authors contributed equally.
DIVERSIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN GENUS PROTEA (PROTEACEAE) IN THE CAPE BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT AND BEYOND: EQUAL RATES IN DIFFERENT BIOMES
Article first published online: 5 OCT 2009
© 2009 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2009 The Society for the Study of Evolution
Volume 64, Issue 3, pages 745–760, March 2010
How to Cite
Valente, L. M., Reeves, G., Schnitzler, J., Mason, I. P., Fay, M. F., Rebelo, T. G., Chase, M. W. and Barraclough, T. G. (2010), DIVERSIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN GENUS PROTEA (PROTEACEAE) IN THE CAPE BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT AND BEYOND: EQUAL RATES IN DIFFERENT BIOMES. Evolution, 64: 745–760. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00856.x
- Issue published online: 19 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 5 OCT 2009
- Received March 9, 2009Accepted September 18, 2009
- Cape of South Africa;
The Cape region of South Africa is a hotspot of flowering plant biodiversity. However, the reasons why levels of diversity and endemism are so high remain obscure. Here, we reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among species in the genus Protea, which has its center of species richness and endemism in the Cape, but also extends through tropical Africa as far as Eritrea and Angola. Contrary to previous views, the Cape is identified as the ancestral area for the radiation of the extant lineages: most species in subtropical and tropical Africa are derived from a single invasion of that region. Moreover, diversification rates have been similar within and outside the Cape region. Migration out of the Cape has opened up vast areas, but those lineages have not diversified as extensively at fine spatial scales as lineages in the Cape. Therefore, higher net rates of diversification do not explain the high diversity and endemism of Protea in the Cape. Instead, understanding why the Cape is so diverse requires an explanation for how Cape species are able to diverge and persist at such small spatial scales.