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Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics

Michael Heads

Publication Year: 2012

Molecular studies reveal highly ordered geographic patterns in plant and animal distributions. The tropics illustrate these patterns of community immobilism leading to allopatric differentiation, as well as other patterns of mobilism, range expansion, and overlap of taxa. Integrating Earth history and biogeography, Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics is an alternative view of distributional history in which groups are older than suggested by fossils and fossil-calibrated molecular clocks. The author discusses possible causes for the endemism of high-level taxa in tropical America and Madagascar, and overlapping clades in South America, Africa, and Asia. The book concludes with a critique of adaptation by selection, founded on biogeography and recent work in genetics.

Published by: University of California Press

Series: Species and Systematics


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p. 1-1

TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The theme of this book is the distribution of plants and animals and how it developed. The subject is approached using the methods of pan-biogeography, a synthesis of plant geography, animal geography, and geology (Craw et al., 1999). The methodology is based on the idea that distribution is not due to chance dispersal; ...

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pp. ix-x

I am very grateful for the help and encouragement I’ve received from friends and colleagues, especially Lynne Parenti (Washington, D.C.), John Grehan (Buffalo), Isolda Luna-Vega and Juan Morrone (Mexico City), Jürg de Marmels (Maracay), Mauro Cavalcanti (Rio de Janeiro), Guilherme Ribeiro (São Paulo), ...

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1. Evolution in Space

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pp. 1-58

Many different ways of analyzing spatial variation in biological diversity—the biogeographic patterns—have been employed by different authors, and some of the assumptions in these methods are discussed here. The chronological aspect of evolution is discussed in the next chapter. ...

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2. Evolution in Time

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pp. 59-100

Differentiation in morphology and molecules occurs over space and through time. Spatial variation can be observed directly; establishing the age of a clade is more difficult. Molecular clock dates for clades are reported in the mass media and even the scientific literature as more or less factual, ...

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3. Evolution and Biogeography of Primates: A New Model Based on Molecular Phylogenetics, Vicariance, and Plate Tectonics

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pp. 101-144

The last two chapters considered general aspects of evolution in space and time. The rest of the book is a study of biogeography and tectonics in the tropical regions. The tropics are well known for their stupendous biodiversity, and a survey of all groups is obviously impossible. ...

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4. Biogeography of New World Monkeys

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pp. 145-202

Detailed information on the molecular phylogeny of New World monkeys (Opazo et al., 2006; Osterholz et al., 2009) and on their distribution and ecology (IUCN, 2009) is now available, and so the group is an excellent subject for biogeographic and evolutionary study. ...

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5. Primates in Africa and Asia

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pp. 203-266

Several decades of work on the molecular biology of primates, together with extensive field studies by biologists, paleontologists, and conservation ecologists, mean that a great deal is now known about the phylogeny and distribution of the order. Nevertheless, the interpretation of this data and proposals about how, where, and when ...

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6. Biogeography of the Central Pacific: Endemism, Vicariance, and Plate Tectonics

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pp. 267-312

East of the Philippines and Sulawesi there is abundant suitable habitat for non-human primates in the tropical rainforests of New Guinea and the Pacific islands. Despite this, they are absent (apart from an introduced Macaca in northwestern New Guinea), and the account of Pacific biogeography given in this chapter ...

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7. Biogeography of the Hawaiian Islands: The Global Context

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pp. 313-354

The Hawaiian Islands have one of the most distinctive biotas of all the Pacific islands, and they have been the subject of many in-depth studies. Most authors now interpret the flora and fauna as classic cases of long-distance dispersal. For these reasons the biogeography of the group is discussed here in more detail. ...

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8. Distribution within the Hawaiian Islands

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pp. 355-406

The plants and animals of the Hawaiian Islands survive in a landscape that has been dominated, at least at some stage in the past, by volcanism. The geology of the islands is summarized below before looking in more detail at distribution in the archipelago. ...

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9. Biogeography of Pantropical and Global Groups

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pp. 407-434

Many groups show biogeographic connections between the central Pacific and tropical America. Examples include Fitchia and its allies (Fig. 6-15), the tribe Sicyeae in Cucurbitaceae (Fig. 6-16), and others (Figs. 7-3 to 7-6). These groups link the Pacific with western parts of the Americas and the Caribbean plate, ...

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10. Evolution in Space, Time, and Form: Beyond Centers of Origin, Dispersal, and Adaptation

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pp. 435-454

This book has dealt at some length with ideas on the center of origin and dispersal. The third component of the CODA model is adaptation by natural selection. Some current views of geneticists on this are discussed below, but first several conclusions reached in earlier chapters are summarized. ...

Glossary of Geological Terms

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pp. 455-458


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pp. 459-534


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pp. 535-562

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About the Author

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pp. 563-564

Michael Heads was educated in New Zealand and has taught ecology and systematics at universities in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Zimbabwe, and Ghana. He has also carried out field studies in the American tropics, mainly in Jamaica and Venezuela. ...

Further Reading, Production Notes

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pp. 576-577

E-ISBN-13: 9780520951808
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520271968

Page Count: 576
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Species and Systematics