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Colonization time on island settings: Lessons from the Hawaiian and Canary Island floras

AuthorsGarcía-Verdugo, Carlos; Caujapé Castells, J. CSIC ORCID; Sanmartín, Isabel CSIC ORCID
Keywordscrown age, extinction, island biogeography, island colonization, lineage diversification, molecular dating, stem age, temporal uncertainty
Issue Date2019
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society 191: 155- 163 (2019)
AbstractMolecular dating offers a tool for inferring the time of divergence between two lineages. In this study, we discuss how dated molecular reconstructions are informative of two different, albeit often intermingled, time estimates with regard to a fundamental process in island biogeography: the time of island colonization (TIC). We illustrate how stem age estimates provide information on the divergence between the extant island lineage and their closest relatives (i.e. the onset of lineage differentiation). Such estimates, however, are typically poor TIC predictors, as they are strongly affected by spatial and temporal uncertainty, particularly in cases of deep stem ages. Crown ages of endemic island lineages, in contrast, provide information on the temporal onset of island in situ diversification, and may represent a better proxy for TIC when the associated uncertainty is taken into account. Thus, the geographic and temporal distance separating the island and mainland lineages in phylogenetic/phylogeographic reconstructions are key factors for determining the reliability of these two estimates as proxies of TIC. We show how divergence times can be used to investigate the biogeographic patterns of two well-studied oceanic archipelagos: Hawaii and the Canary Islands. A compilation of molecular age estimates for nearly one-third of the endemic plant lineages in each archipelago reveals that Canarian plant lineages exhibit significantly younger mean crown ages (2.1 ± 2.4 Myr) than Hawaiian lineages (3.5 ± 2.9 Myr), despite island substrates being much older in the Canarian archipelago. We postulate that this pattern suggests: (1) a more important role of submerged islands during plant colonization in Hawaii, and (2) higher taxon turnover in the Canaries, mediated by relatively young (Mediterranean) lineages, and probably facilitated by the combination of the high incidence of extinction for the last 5 Myr and the close proximity of mainland source areas as compared to Hawaii.
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/botlinnean/boz044
issn: 1095-8339
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