The eucalypt group (Myrtaceae) totals seven genera, including small rain forest genera, and species-rich sclerophyll genera that dominate Australian vegetation. Macrofossils of eucalypts extend this range to South America (Early Eocene) and New Zealand (Early Miocene). Subgenus Eucalyptus (the “monocalypts”), with 111 species, is well supported as a monophyletic group. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the monocalypt group has the potential to contribute not only to improved classification and taxonomy, but to an understanding of the evolution of Australian continental bioregions and ecology of the flora, particularly the history of the southwestern sclerophyll biome, which is a recognized region of high endemism and biodiversity, and its disjunction from eastern Australia. This chapter presents a comprehensive phylogenetic tree for subgenus Eucalyptus for the first time, allowing assessment of the biogeographic history and age of a plant group that shows strong east-west disjunction across the Australian continent.
Keywords: Eucalyptus; eucalypts; monocalypts; Australia; phylogenetic tree; biogeographic history; east-west disjunction; evolution
Chapter. 10479 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Evolutionary Biology
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