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Ecología en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2075-5023

Abstract

VELASQUEZ-PUENTES, Francisco J.  and  BACON, Christine D.. An introduction to phylogenetic community structure: a case study in Bolivian palms. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2016, vol.51, n.2, pp. 126-140. ISSN 2075-5023.

The field of community phylogenetics is focused on the study of phylogenetic structure and diversity of evolutionary lineages across geographic space and represents a valuable tool to infer ecological and macroevolutionary processes determining species distributions and co-existence. In this study we analyzed patterns of phylogenetic diversity and structure from four regional palm communities of Bolivia defined by main phytogeographical units: Amazon, Andes, Cerrado, and Gran Chaco. Our results indicate: 1) high phylogenetic diversity for the Andean and Amazonian regional communities, 2) phylogenetic clustering for the species from the Andes and the Cerrado, and 3) phylogenetic differentiation between three of the four studied regional communities (Amazon, Andes, and Cerrado). We suggest the obtained patterns of phylogenetic diversity and structure were produced mainly by in situ diversification and by the effects of environmental filters that seem to be important in the Andes and the Cerrado. In addition, the high degree of phylogenetic turnover found, could have been mediated by regional climatic conditions and by biogeographic barriers such as the Andean uplift. These results highlight the relevance of phylogenetic information on community assembly studies.

Keywords : Areacaceae; Bolivia; Phylogenetic structure; Macroevolution.

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