The problem with biogeography

Ray Tangney Ray.Tangney at NMGW.AC.UK
Tue Oct 12 12:52:55 CDT 2004

You are right, the Lembophyllaceae has during its history been considered to consist of as many as 20 genera and as few as one or two.  Our current understanding of the family based on morphological study and supported by molecular data in prep. is that the Australasian taxa (Lembophyllum, Camptochaete, Fifea, Fallaciella and Weymouthia; distribution in figure 5 in the paper) form a pretty well supported monophyletic group.  


PS There was a problem with the figure legends in the paper.  The correct ones appear below.

Figure Legends
Figure 1.  Standard, or generalized, distribution tracks in the Australasian region based on the results of a track analysis of mosses (Tangney, 1989).  
Figure 2.  Standard tracks based on the analysis of plant and animal groups, after Croizat (1964).  Solid triangle in eastern Australia is the MacPherson-Macleay overlap.  
Figure 3.  Migration routes in the Australasian region, after Burbidge (1960).  Solid circle in eastern Australia is the MacPherson-Macleay overlap.  Figure 4.  Distribution of Camptochaete.  Solid line is C. sect. Camptochaete and hatched line is C. sect. Thamniella.  
Figure 5.  Distribution of Australasian Lembophyllaceae.  Solid square indicates the baseline in the south Pacific ocean.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Kinman [mailto:kinman2 at YAHOO.COM]
Sent: 11 October 2004 04:49
Subject: Re: The problem with biogeography

      I'm am not sure why you addressed this to "the not so serious scientist".  In any case, I am rather surprised that anyone would attempt to draw any biogeographic conclusions (generally or particularly) from a family of mosses whose taxonomic content is so controversial.  One author even suggests that its holophyly (strict monophyly) is doubtful even beyond two genera (the type genus and a closely related genus).  It just seems to be premature to draw biogeographical conclusions where neither the content nor phylogeny is well established.
         ----- Ken Kinman

On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 16:35:30 -0400, John Grehan <jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG> wrote:

>For the not so serious scientist, there is a nice summary view of
>panbiogeography by Ray Tangey titled "The problem with biogeography" in
>the winter 2003 Newsletter of the Systematics Association. His final
>conclusion is that "The geographic facts of biology are the key to not
>only what biogeography is, its conception (ontology), but also to what
>we know in biogeography, and how we go about it, its epistemology."
>The article can be viewed at
>John R. Grehan

Dr Ray Tangney
Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology
National Museum and Gallery
CF10 3NP 

Email: Ray.Tangney at
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