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Biogeography and evolution of Dolichandra (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae)

Fonseca, Luiz Henrique Martins, Lohmann, Lúcia G.
Botanical journal of the Linnean Society 2015 v.179 no.3 pp. 403-420
Bayesian theory, Dolichandra, biogeography, environmental factors, genes, genetic markers, habitats, lianas, monophyly, perianth, plastid DNA, pollination, tropics, South America
Little information on evolutionary relationships of Neotropical organisms or on the factors that have shaped the diversity currently encountered in this region is available. However, it is clear that biotic interactions and abiotic aspects have played important roles for species diversification in the region. This study focuses on Dolichandra (Bignonieae, Bignoniaceae), a clade of Neotropical lianas that is distributed broadly across different habitats and with diverse pollination and dispersal systems. We used sequences from two plastid DNA markers (ndhF and rpl32‐trnL) and one nuclear gene (PepC) to infer phylogenetic relationships in Dolichandra using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We then used this phylogenetic framework as basis to study the biogeographic history, reconstruct the evolution of morphological characters and test the impact of morphology and environment on the diversification of the genus. More specifically, we: (1) time‐calibrate the phylogenetic tree of Dolichandra; (2) estimate the ancestral areas of the various lineages; (3) estimate the ancestral states of discrete and continuous morphological traits; (4) test for phylogenetic signal in environmental and phenotypic data; and (5) test whether morphological characters and/or niche evolution are correlated with cladogenesis. All Dolichandra spp. are monophyletic in the combined molecular phylogeny; relationships among species are generally well resolved, although poorly supported in some instances. The genus is inferred to have originated 36.43–26.23 Mya, possibly in eastern South America. Ancestral state reconstructions of continuous and discrete floral characters inferred a mixed morphology as the ancestral condition for the group. Phylogenetic signal differed between perianth and sexual whorls and gradual evolution was recovered for all traits except style length and anther length. Environmental variables showed no phylogenetic signal and a pattern of variation that was not correlated with branch length, suggesting that environmental transitions were concomitant with speciation. Dispersal is inferred to be the main driver of the differential distribution observed among species. In addition, climatic preferences and floral characters seem to have been important reproductive barriers in Dolichandra. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2015, 179, 403–420.