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Title: Patterns in the diversity and distribution of flowering plant genera
Author: Brummitt, Neil Alistair
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Regional distributions of all vascular plant genera have been compiled from herbarium specimens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and this data has then been analysed for large-scale patterns in the diversity and distribution of flowering plants, at both genus and family levels.  A strong latitudinal gradient in diversity is apparent at family, genus and species levels, though while western South America is most diverse at species and genus levels, it is the SW. Pacific which is most diverse at family level. However, the number of families and genera per region is very strongly correlated, irrespective of the region. There is a very strong relationship between both family and genus diversity and area, though not for numbers of endemic genera. Analysing floristic similarity between different regions of the world reveals very strongly supported continental groups, since most genera are confined to particular continents, although the latitudinal difference between regions is a better predictor of floristic similarity than is simply distance between regions. Latitudinal range-size for genera increases towards the equator, although taxon-size in general decreases with increasing latitudinal range-size. For both families and genera, the range-size frequency distribution is highly skewed towards small range sizes (more so for genera than families), which account for the majority of taxa. Distribution patterns show strong regional clustering, with almost 40% of genera single-region endemics, and approximately 20% of world distribution patterns accounting for about 80% of total angiosperm genus diversity. Analysis of these distribution patterns reveals a strong correlation between diversity and the number of floristic elements, which intersect to form the diversity of a region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available