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Species limits, geographical distribution and genetic diversity in Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae)

Journal article
Authors Christine D. Bacon
S. L. Look
N. Gutierrez-Pinto
Alexandre Antonelli
H. T. W. Tan
P. P. Kumar
S. L. Guan
J. Dransfield
W. J. Baker
Published in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 182
Issue 2
Pages 318-347
ISSN 0024-4074
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 318-347
Language en
Keywords Malesia, niche, Palmae, phylogenetics, speciation, geonoma-macrostachys arecaceae, palms sheds light, ecological, speciation, diversification rates, phylogenetic analysis, global, biogeography, southeast-asia, evolution, patterns, dispersal, Plant Sciences
Subject categories Environmental Sciences


Four species are recognized in the understorey palm genus Johannesteijsmannia (Arecaceae), all of which occur in close geographical proximity in the Malay Peninsula. We hypothesize that overlapping distributions are maintained by a lack of gene flow among species and that segregation along morphological trait or environmental axes confers ecological divergence and, hence, defines species limits. Although some species have sympatric distributions, differentiation was detected among species in morphological and genetic data, corroborating current species delimitation. Differences in niche breadth were not found to explain the overlapping distribution and coexistence of Johannesteijsmannia spp. Four species formed over the last 3 Mya, showing that diversity accumulated within a short time frame and wide range expansion has not occurred, potentially due to a lack of time for dispersal or the evolution of traits to facilitate movement. An assessment of genetic diversity is presented and, as expected, the widest distribution in the genus harbours the highest genetic diversity.

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