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Biogeography of the Limacoidea sensu lato (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora): vicariance events and long-distance dispersal

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Abstract Aim

Reconstruction of the historical biogeography of the Limacoidea sensu lato (including the Staffordiidae, Dyakiidae, Gastrodontoidea, Parmacelloidea, Zonitidae, Helicarionoidea and Limacoidea). Evaluation of the relative importance of dispersal and its consequences. Location

World-wide. Methods

Weighted ancestral area analysis. Results

The ancestral areas of the individual clades have been delimited using weighted ancestral area analysis and a sequence of possible vicariance and dispersal events has been suggested. The results of the ancestral area analysis have tentatively been correlated with Cretaceous and Tertiary palaeogeography. The widely overlapping distribution patterns of several families of the Limacoidea testify to extensive dispersal events. Dispersal capacity of land snails is correlated with body size. The significant negative correlation between body size and distribution area size corroborates the importance of passive dispersal for the evolution of the distribution patterns. Main conclusions

The existence of extensive dispersal events of poor active dispersers like land snails diminishes the importance of recent distribution patterns for the reconstruction of palaeogeography. On the other hand, dispersal ensures that biogeographical data reflect the geographical configurations at a given time and renders the use of palaeobiogeographic data for the reconstruction of palaeogeographic configurations of the respective age possible.

Keywords: Biogeography; Gastropoda; Limacoidea; dispersal; palaeogeography; weighted ancestral area analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universit├Ąt Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Publication date: 2000-03-01

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