Patterns of rain forest plant endemism in subtropical Australia relate to stable mesic refugia and species dispersal limitations

Weber, Lui C., VanDerWal, Jeremy, Schmidt, Susanne, McDonald, William J. F. and Shoo, Luke P. (2014) Patterns of rain forest plant endemism in subtropical Australia relate to stable mesic refugia and species dispersal limitations. Journal of Biogeography, 41 2: 222-238. doi:10.1111/jbi.12219


Author Weber, Lui C.
VanDerWal, Jeremy
Schmidt, Susanne
McDonald, William J. F.
Shoo, Luke P.
Title Patterns of rain forest plant endemism in subtropical Australia relate to stable mesic refugia and species dispersal limitations
Journal name Journal of Biogeography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-0270
1365-2699
Publication date 2014-02-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/jbi.12219
Open Access Status
Volume 41
Issue 2
Start page 222
End page 238
Total pages 17
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Aim Our aims were to identify centres of endemism and to infer whether these areas have functioned as refugia for subtropical rain forest plants through historical climate fluctuations.
Formatted abstract
Aim: Our aims were to identify centres of endemism and to infer whether these areas have functioned as refugia for subtropical rain forest plants through historical climate fluctuations.

Location: Subtropical eastern Australia (23-33° S; 145-155° E). Methods: We collated 25,000 records of 179 endemic rain forest plants to identify geographical areas with unusually high concentrations of endemic taxa and range-restricted endemics. We then tested whether centres of endemism coincide with other features indicating refugia, including habitat stability over 120,000 years, and we related dispersal patterns to past habitat stability using seed weight as a surrogate for dispersal ability of endemic plant taxa.

Results: We identified five main centres of endemism. Historical stability and other processes affecting diversity, including current rainfall, rain forest area, and topographic complexity, explained 58% of variation in plant-weighted endemism. Taxa with poor dispersal ability were concentrated in the areas that were most stable historically.

Main conclusions: Several lines of evidence suggest that centres of endemism have functioned as important refugia for subtropical rain forest taxa through historical climate fluctuations. The highest concentrations of range-restricted endemic species occur in locations that are predicted to have maintained stable rain forest habitat over at least the past 120,000 years. This association was independent from other factors that were expected to promote diversity (i.e. rain forest area and current environmental suitability). These locations have disproportionately high concentrations of species with poor dispersal ability (large-seeded species). 
Keyword Adaptation
Biogeography
Centres of endemism
Climate change
Conservation
Eastern Australia
Rain forest
Refugia
Seed dispersal
Subtropical rain forest
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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