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Diversification of Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae) in the California Floristic Province

Dylan O. Burge, Diane M. Erwin, Melissa B. Islam, Jürgen Kellermann, Steven W. Kembel, Dieter H. Wilken and Paul S. Manos
International Journal of Plant Sciences
Vol. 172, No. 9 (November/December 2011), pp. 1137-1164
DOI: 10.1086/662028
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662028
Page Count: 28
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Diversification of Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae) in the California Floristic Province
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Abstract

High diversity and endemism in the California Floristic Province (CFP) are an alleged response to the late Cenozoic advent of Mediterranean-type climate in this region. Ceanothus comprises two divergent subgenera with centers of diversity in the CFP. We reconstruct the evolution of Ceanothus by using DNA sequence data from the nuclear gene nitrate reductase. We find that the timing of diversification events is related to geological and climatic history. In both subgenera, diversification is characterized by recent divergence of extant taxa and geographically structured phylogenetic relationships. A strong north-south divergence of subgenus Cerastes across the Transverse Ranges indicates that phylogenetic relationships may be structured by climatically divergent regions of the CFP. Divergence-time estimation suggests that the age of extant diversification in both subgenera is ∼6 Ma. This agrees with the fossil record but predates the hypothesized Quaternary (2-Ma) origin of Mediterranean-type climate in the region.

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