[Taxacom] Scale insects and Nothofagus (dispersed together)

Michael Heads michael.heads at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 30 13:48:45 CDT 2010

Dear Ken,
Why does the congruent distribution/phylogeny of the scale insects and Nothofagus indicate dispersal and not vicariance?
Michael Heads

Wellington, New Zealand.

My papers on biogeography are at: http://tiny.cc/RiUE0

--- On Sat, 31/7/10, Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net> wrote:

From: Kenneth Kinman <kennethkinman at webtv.net>
Subject: [Taxacom] Scale insects and Nothofagus (dispersed together)
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Received: Saturday, 31 July, 2010, 4:33 AM

Hi John and others,
      Well, the first insect pest (on Nothofagus) that I looked at this
morning actually indicates that felt scale insects and Nothofagus not
only evolved together, but that both groups show the same pattern of
trans-ocean dispersal between Australia and New Zealand.   The study by
Hardy et al., 2008 (see weblink below) studied the phylogeny of these
felt scale insects with both morphology AND molecular sequences, and it
was congruent with earlier studies on Nothofagus alone, indicating
trans-ocean dispersal (NOT vicariance).  Not hard to imagine lots of
these insects hitching a ride on floating Nothofagus trees between
Australia and New Zealand.    
       Whether these or other insect pests can limit the dispersal
ability of Nothofagus is another question, but an interesting one.  If
such insects can decrease plant vigor in mature trees, just think what
kind of damage they could do to young trees trying to disperse to new
territory.  Trans-ocean dispersal between Australia and New Zealand may
have taken many raftings before Nothofagus was successful in becoming
established.  Over millions of years, there could have been thousands of
such raftings, but the vast majority failed for any number of different
reasons.  But looks like it succeeded at least once, and I am not the
only one who thinks so.  


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