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Plant phylogeny as a window on the evolution of hyperdiversity in the tropical rainforest biome [New Phytologist / Tansley review]

Keywords : biome evolution, cradle, extinction, hyperdiversity, museum, speciation, species richness, tropical rainforest

par Frédéric Magné - publié le , mis à jour le

Tropical rainforest (TRF) is the most species-rich terrestrial biome on Earth, harbouring just under half of the world’s plant species in c. 7% of the land surface. Phylogenetic trees provide important insights into mechanisms underpinning TRF hyperdiversity that are complementary to those obtained from the fossil record. Phylogenetic studies of TRF plant diversity have mainly focused on whether this biome is an evolutionary ‘cradle’ or ‘museum’, emphasizing speciation and extinction rates. However, other explanations, such as biome age, immigration and ecological limits, must also be considered. We present a conceptual framework for addressing the drivers of TRF diversity, and review plant studies that have tested them with phylogenetic data(...)

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