J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2013, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (10): 950-964.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12065

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Out of Africa: Miocene Dispersal, Vicariance, and Extinction within Hyacinthaceae Subfamily Urgineoideae

Syed Shujait Ali1,2*, Martin Pfosser2, Wolfgang Wetschnig1, Mario Martínez-Azorín1,3, Manuel B. Crespo3 and Yan Yu4   

  1. 1Institute of Plant Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Holteigasse 6, Graz, Austria
    2Biocenter Linz, Linz, Austria
    3CIBIO (Instituto Universitario de la Biodiversidad), Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain
    4Key Laboratory of Bio-Resources and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, China
  • Received:2013-02-05 Accepted:2013-05-05 Published:2013-08-30
  • About author:*Corresponding author: Tel: +43 732 7597 3340; Fax: +43 732 7597 3399; E-mail: shujaitswati@yahoo.com


Disjunct distribution patterns in plant lineages are usually explained according to three hypotheses: vicariance, geodispersal, and long-distance dispersal. The role of these hypotheses is tested in Urgineoideae (Hyacinthaceae), a subfamily disjunctly distributed in Africa, Madagascar, India, and the Mediterranean region. The potential ancestral range, dispersal routes, and factors responsible for the current distribution in Urgineoideae are investigated using divergence time estimations. Urgineoideae originated in Southern Africa approximately 48.9 Mya. Two independent dispersal events in the Western Mediterranean region possibly occurred during Early Oligocene and Miocene (29.9–8.5 Mya) via Eastern and Northwestern Africa. A dispersal from Northwestern Africa to India could have occurred between 16.3 and 7.6 Mya. Vicariance and extinction events occurred approximately 21.6 Mya. Colonization of Madagascar occurred between 30.6 and 16.6 Mya, after a single transoceanic dispersal event from Southern Africa. The current disjunct distributions of Urgineoideae are not satisfactorily explained by Gondwana fragmentation or dispersal via boreotropical forests, due to the younger divergence time estimates. The flattened winged seeds of Urgineoideae could have played an important role in long-distance dispersal by strong winds and big storms, whereas geodispersal could have also occurred from Southern Africa to Asia and the Mediterranean region via the so-called arid and high-altitude corridors.

Ali SS, Pfosser M, Wetschnig W, Martínez‐Azorín M, Crespo MB, Yu Y (2013) Out of Africa: Miocene dispersal, vicariance, and extinction within Hyacinthaceae subfamily Urgineoideae. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(10), 950–964.

Key words: Bayesian binary method, Bayesian divergence estimates, biogeography, disjunct distribution, time-event curve, Urgineoideae

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