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Historical biogeography of Southeast Asia and the West Pacific, or the generality of unrooted area networks as historical biogeographic hypotheses

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Abstract Aim

Unrooted area networks are perhaps a general way in which different historical biogeographical patterns may be combined. Location

Southeast Asia up to the West Pacific, Australia, South America. Methods

Unrooted area networks based on Primary Brooks Parsimony Analysis of different data sets of Southeast Asian–West Pacific, Australian and South American clades. Results

A large Brooks Parsimony historical (cladistic) biogeographic analysis of Southeast Asia and the West Pacific gave a meaningful result when all clades (representing different historical biogeographic patterns) were united into one matrix and an unrooted area network was produced. This network showed geographically adjacent areas as neighbours, which is interpreted as clades dispersing and speciating as soon as areas rafted towards each other. This pseudo-vicariance mechanism, together with the very limited, mainly linear dispersal possibilities, a few large, widespread clades with many endemic species, and the large overlap in distributions displayed by different patterns, may explain the peculiar result. When applied to examples from other areas (bird data from Australia and South America), unrooted area networks for all data perform very poorly. Main conclusions

Unrooted historical general area networks are not universally applicable. In general, it is better to split historical patterns a priori and analyse them separately.
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Keywords: Brooks Parsimony Analysis; Dispersal; Gondwana; Pacific; Southeast Asia; vicariance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden Universiteit Branch, Leiden and

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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