Phyloclimatic modeling: Combining phylogenetics and bioclimatic modeling
Yesson, C. and Culham, A. (2006) Phyloclimatic modeling: Combining phylogenetics and bioclimatic modeling. Systematic Biology, 55 (5). pp. 785-802. ISSN 1063-5157
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/1063515060081570
We investigate the impact of past climates on plant diversification by tracking the "footprint" of climate change on a phylogenetic tree. Diversity within the cosmopolitan carnivorous plant genus Drosera (Droseraceae) is focused within Mediterranean climate regions. We explore whether this diversity is temporally linked to Mediterranean-type climatic shifts of the mid-Miocene and whether climate preferences are conservative over phylogenetic timescales. Phyloclimatic modeling combines environmental niche (bioclimatic) modeling with phylogenetics in order to study evolutionary patterns in relation to climate change. We present the largest and most complete such example to date using Drosera. The bioclimatic models of extant species demonstrate clear phylogenetic patterns; this is particularly evident for the tuberous sundews from southwestern Australia (subgenus Ergaleium). We employ a method for establishing confidence intervals of node ages on a phylogeny using replicates from a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. This chronogram shows that many clades, including subgenus Ergaleium and section Bryastrum, diversified during the establishment of the Mediterranean-type climate. Ancestral reconstructions of bioclimatic models demonstrate a pattern of preference for this climate type within these groups. Ancestral bioclimatic models are projected into palaeo-climate reconstructions for the time periods indicated by the chronogram. We present two such examples that each generate plausible estimates of ancestral lineage distribution, which are similar to their current distributions. This is the first study to attempt bioclimatic projections on evolutionary time scales. The sundews appear to have diversified in response to local climate development. Some groups are specialized for Mediterranean climates, others show wide-ranging generalism. This demonstrates that Phyloclimatic modeling could be repeated for other plant groups and is fundamental to the understanding of evolutionary responses to climate change.