The problem with biogeography
kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Oct 18 22:32:42 CDT 2004
I too was probably somewhat "obtuse" (in expressing doubts about the biogeographical value of Tangney's paper). Although I certainly understand Pierre Deleporte's qualms about the "straight line" approach of panbiogeography, I am (as I have indicated before) personally most concerned about the very long (trans-Pacific) lines between Australasia and the Americas. I still think many of those would be via Antarctica, and therefore NOT in a straight line at all. Within Australasia, I'm sure Tangney's analysis does have significant value. But how Fallaciella got to South America intrigues me (is it a relict there which once occurred in Antarctica as well?; or could it have been transported more directly and more recently by rafting, birds, or even humans?).
However more broadly, I am wondering if there is any source online which would show what genera are *clearly* members of the Lembophyllaceae, Meteoriaceae, and Brachytheciaceae respectively (and what other genera are the most difficult to assign to one particular family). The NCBI classification also lists Dixonia, Neobarbella, Orthostichella, and Tripterocladium in Family Lembophyllaceae. I suppose all of these are disputed by some workers. But what REALLY disturbs me about the NCBI classification is the inclusion of Pilotrichella in Family Pilotrichaceae (which is in a different Order---Hookeriales). Surely this is wrong, and Pilotrichella belongs to one of the three families under discussion here. I assume that Orthostichella and Pilotrichella will probably end up in the same Family.
Ray Tangney wrote:
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.
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