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Palaeovegetation (Communications arising): diversity of temperate plants in east Asia

Harrison, S. P., Yu, G., Takahara, H. and Prentice, I. C. (2001) Palaeovegetation (Communications arising): diversity of temperate plants in east Asia. Nature, 413 (6852). pp. 129-130. ISSN 1476-4687

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/35093166

Abstract/Summary

The exceptionally broad species diversity of vascular plant genera in east Asian temperate forests, compared with their sister taxa in North America, has been attributed to the greater climatic diversity of east Asia, combined with opportunities for allopatric speciation afforded by repeated fragmentation and coalescence of populations through Late Cenozoic ice-age cycles1. According to Qian and Ricklefs1, these opportunities occurred in east Asia because temperate forests extended across the continental shelf to link populations in China, Korea and Japan during glacial periods, whereas higher sea levels during interglacial periods isolated these regions and warmer temperatures restricted temperate taxa to disjunct refuges. However, palaeovegetation data from east Asia2, 3, 4, 5, 6 show that temperate forests were considerably less extensive than today during the Last Glacial Maximum, calling into question the coalescence of tree populations required by the hypothesis of Qian and Ricklefs1.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:36365
Publisher:Nature Publishing

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