disjunct distribution

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(discontinuous distribution)

The occurrence of closely related species in a limited number of locations separated by oceans. For example, the family Caricaceae comprises four genera and about 30 species of trees, one of which is Carica papaya (papaya or pawpaw). Members of the family are most abundant in S. America, with some in C. America, but one genus, Cylicomorpha, grows in tropical Africa. Araucaria species (A. araucana is the monkey puzzle tree, or Chile pine, and A. angustifolia is paraná pine or candelabra tree) are native to S. America, where they form forests. A. bidwilli (bunya-bunya) occurs naturally in New Guinea, north-eastern Australia, and on islands in the S. Pacific Ocean. Disjunct distribution is evidence supporting continental drift.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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