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|Title:||Reproductive niche conservatism in the isolated New Zealand flora over 23 million years|
|Citation:||Biology Letters, 2014; 10(10):20140647-1-20140647-6|
|Publisher:||The Royal Society|
|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.|
|Appears in Collections:||Aurora harvest 7|
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
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