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1 January 2002 Reconstruction of the Biogeographical History of Malesherbiaceae
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Abstract
Malesherbiaceae are xerophytic plants of Chile, Peru, and Argentina. The 24 species of the only genus, Malesherbia, live in a variety of arid habitats in the Pacific coastal desert and adjacent Andes of Peru, Chile, and neighboring Argentina. Taxa with distributions in both Peru and Chile are rare; for this reason the family provides an excellent case study for the biogeography of this region of western South America.Phylogenetic analysis of ITS sequence data using Turneraceae as an outgroup shows a correlation between the phylogeny and the distribution of Malesherbiaceae. The origin of the family is placed in the late Miocene to early Pliocene, when the region became permanently arid. The five major clades of the family likely diverged during the Pliocene. A single clade consisting of species native to Peru and the Atacama Desert indicates that the family was introduced to Peru once. Most modern species appear to have evolved in response to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations.
and Karla Gengler–Nowak "Reconstruction of the Biogeographical History of Malesherbiaceae," The Botanical Review 68(1), (1 January 2002). https://doi.org/10.1663/0006-8101(2002)068[0171:ROTBHO]2.0.CO;2
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