[Taxacom] [Biogeography Portal] Re: Hypothesis: How Nothofagus rafted to New Zealand

releech at telusplanet.net releech at telusplanet.net
Mon Dec 25 11:21:52 CST 2006

Remember, Gentlemen,

When you are dealing with fiction,
You must keep your facts straight.

Robin Leech

Quoting John Grehan <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org>:

> I would agree that dispersal is a falsifiable hypothesis in the sense that
> Darwin predicted that once we know the means of dispersal in general we would
> then be in a position to predict former land connections (or words more or
> less to that effect as I do not have the quote to hand). A century of
> dispersalism failed to achieve that goal. Instead it was Croizat who
> presented the empirical test of dispersalism by showing that means of
> dispersal are not correlated with biogeography, and that spatial analysis
> lead to novel predictions about former land connections that dispersalism was
> unable to uncover. The panbiogeographic method actually works in the real (as
> opposed to the theoretical) world. Its as simple as that.
> John Grehan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ken Kinman [mailto:kinman at hotmail.com] 
> Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2006 12:29 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Cc: biogeography at bohm.snv.jussieu.fr
> Subject: [Biogeography Portal] Re: [Taxacom] Hypothesis: How Nothofagus
> rafted to New Zealand
> 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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