Updating the Phylogenetic Dating of New Caledonian Biodiversity with a Meta-analysis of the Available Evidence

Abstract : For a long time, New Caledonia was considered a continental island, a fragment of Gondwana harbouring old clades that originated by vicariance and so were thought to be locally ancient. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies dating diversification and geological data indicating important events of submergence during the Paleocene and Eocene (until 37 Ma) brought evidence to dismiss this old hypothesis. In spite of this, some authors still insist on the idea of a local permanence of a Gondwanan biota, justifying this assumption through a complex scenario of survival by hopping to and from nearby and now-vanished islands. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, we found 40 studies dating regional clades of diverse organisms and we used them to test the hypothesis that New Caledonian and inclusive Pacific island clades are older than 37 Ma. The results of this meta-analysis provide strong evidence for refuting the hypothesis of a Gondwanan refuge with a biota that originated by vicariance. Only a few inclusive Pacific clades (6 out of 40) were older than the oldest existing island. We suggest that these clades could have extinct members either on vanished islands or nearby continents, emphasizing the role of dispersal and extinction in shaping the present-day biota.
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Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.3705. 〈10.1038/s41598-017-02964-x〉
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Romain Nattier, Roseli Pellens, Tony Robillard, Hervé Jourdan, Frédéric Legendre, et al.. Updating the Phylogenetic Dating of New Caledonian Biodiversity with a Meta-analysis of the Available Evidence. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.3705. 〈10.1038/s41598-017-02964-x〉. 〈hal-01556842〉

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