Endemism and Evolution of the Macaronesian Flora

Mark A. Carine, Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, I. Rosana Guma and J. Alfredo Reyes-Betancort

in Beyond Cladistics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267725
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947993 | DOI:
Endemism and Evolution of the Macaronesian Flora

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The Macaronesian region comprises the volcanic oceanic archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Salvages, Canary Islands, and Cape Verdes located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The flora of the region demonstrate many characteristics typical of oceanic archipelago floras, notably a high degree of endemism. Argyranthemum (Compositae), the subject of Chris Humphries's doctoral research, provides an excellent example of island evolution in the region. Endemic to Macaronesia, Argyranthemum comprises twenty-four species of woody perennials. Molecular data support the monophyly and radiation of the genus in the region and indicate that its closest relatives are herbaceous and distributed in North Africa. This chapter examines the impact of cladistics on our understanding of the Macaronesian flora. It considers the biogeographic relationships of Macaronesian plant groups and the impact of cladistic analyses, together with other analyses of regional diversity patterns, on our understanding of patterns of intraregional radiations. Finally, it discusses the distinctive growth form spectrum of Macaronesian endemic plants and presents a preliminary evaluation of the extent to which woodiness in Macaronesia may be associated with insularity and linked to intraregional diversification.

Keywords: Macaronesia; endemism; evolution; flora; Chris Humphries; monophyly; radiation; cladistics; woodiness; insularity

Chapter.  8168 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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