[Taxacom] Annual NZ biogeographer's Exam Q2

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 10:16:35 CST 2017

Annual NZ biogeographer’s Exam. Question 2.

How does the grass Australopyrum illustrate the connection between Torlesse
and Tethys?

The affinities of many Torlesse groups with areas outside New Zealand can
also shed light on their local history, and a good example is the grass*
Australopyrum*. This endemic to southeastern Australia, eastern New Guinea
(Papua Peninsula), and New Zealand where it extends from the Torlesse
region to Marlborough (Connor et al., 1993). As with many groups on the
Torlesse terrane, *Australopyrum* has Tethyan affinities; it has been
proposed as sister to *Taeniatherum* of central Asia, the Mediterranean,
and the United States (Petersen et al., 2006), or as a member of a clade
with *Dasypyrum* of the Mediterranean and *Secale *of the northern
hemisphere (Mason-Gamer, 2005).

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