[Taxacom] Hypothesis: How Nothofagus rafted to New Zealand

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 24 11:29:10 CST 2006

Okay Curtis,
      Granted, that first sentence is not a testable hypothesis, but it is 
the beginnings of one.  Dispersal of some kind is indeed a testable 
hypothesis, and I'm glad to see Fred Schueler understands what I am trying 
to do.  Note that the Cyttaria evidence has already shifted my attention 
from birds to ocean rafting as the more likely mechanism, so I am testing 
and modifying the hypothesis as I go along.

      Anyway, onto mosses and insects to seek even more evidence that 
dispersal is more likely than vicariance in this case.  And by the way, it 
looks like Cyttaria gunnii might have speciated in New Zealand (if Cyttaria 
pallida is it's closest relative).  Unfortunately NCBI only shows one 
sequence for the entire genus, so I guess we have to rely on morphology for 
now (Cyttaria would be a great project for a molecular mycologist!!!).  But 
it is Christmas eve, so Nothofagus and Cyttaria have to go on my back burner 
for a few days.
   ----Merry Christmas,
               Ken Kinman
Curtis Clark wrote:
>On 2006-12-23 20:03, Ken Kinman wrote:
> >     My hypothesis is that one (or more) Nothofagus cunninghamii trees
> > rafted to New Zealand carrying on their branchs both their own fruit and
> > their unique fungus Cyttaria gunni.  The tree or trees could have been
> > dislodged due to land slides, massive floods, or even a tsunami---pick
> > your favorite disaster.
>This is not a hypothesis, since it's not testable. It's evolutionary
>"tall tales" such as this that give the panbiogeographers ammunition.

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