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Type: Journal article
Title: Reproductive niche conservatism in the isolated New Zealand flora over 23 million years
Author: Conran, J.G.
Lee, W.G.
Lee, D.E.
Bannister, J.M.
Kaulfuss, U.
Citation: Biology Letters, 2014; 10(10):20140647-1-20140647-6
Publisher: The Royal Society
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1744-9561
Statement of
John G. Conran, William G. Lee, Daphne E. Lee, Jennifer M. Bannister and Uwe Kaulfuss
Abstract: The temporal stability of plant reproductive features on islands has rarely been tested. Using flowers, fruits/cones and seeds from a well-dated (23 Ma) Miocene Lagerstätte in New Zealand, we show that across 23 families and 30 genera of forest angiosperms and conifers, reproductive features have remained constant for more than 20 Myr. Insect-, wind- and bird-pollinated flowers and wind- and bird-dispersed diaspores all indicate remarkable reproductive niche conservatism, despite widespread environmental and biotic change. In the past 10 Myr, declining temperatures and the absence of low-latitude refugia caused regional extinction of thermophiles, while orogenic processes steepened temperature, precipitation and nutrient gradients, limiting forest niches. Despite these changes, the palaeontological record provides empirical support for evidence from phylogeographical studies of strong niche conservatism within lineages and biomes.
Keywords: niche conservatism; islands; reproduction; flowers; fruits; fossils
Description: Published 15 October 2014
Rights: © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0647
Published version: internal-pdf://2814348045/Conran%20et%20al%202014%20NZ%20Niche%20conservatism.pdf
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