Open Access Research article

Consistent phenological shifts in the making of a biodiversity hotspot: the Cape flora

Ben H Warren115*, Freek T Bakker2, Dirk U Bellstedt3, Benny Bytebier163, Regine Claßen-Bockhoff4, Léanne L Dreyer5, Dawn Edwards6, Félix Forest7, Chloé Galley8, Christopher R Hardy9, H Peter Linder8, A Muthama Muasya10, Klaus Mummenhoff11, Kenneth C Oberlander5, Marcus Quint4, James E Richardson12, Vincent Savolainen137, Brian D Schrire14, Timotheüs van der Niet168, G Anthony Verboom10, Christopher Yesson1 and Julie A Hawkins1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Biological Sciences, Lyle Tower, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6BX, UK

2 Biosystematics Group, Wageningen UR, & Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Wageningen University branch, Generaal Foulkesweg 37, 6703 BL Wageningen, The Netherlands

3 Department of Biochemistry, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, South Africa

4 Institut für Spezielle Botanik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Bentzelweg 2, 55099 Mainz, Germany

5 Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, South Africa

6 Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB, UK

7 Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, UK

8 Institute for Systematic Botany, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, CH 8008, Zürich, Switzerland

9 J.C. Parks Herbarium, Department of Biology, Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania 17551, USA

10 Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, 7701 Rondebosch, South Africa

11 University of Osnabrueck, Department of Biology/Botany, Barbarastrasse 11, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany

12 The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR, UK

13 Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK

14 The Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, UK

15 UMR C53 PVBMT, CIRAD-Université de la Réunion, 7 chemin de l'IRAT, Ligne Paradis, 97410 Saint Pierre, France

16 School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pr. Bag X01 Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:39  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-39

Published: 8 February 2011

Additional files

Additional file 1:

Molecular phylogenetic trees with reconstructed shifts in geographic distribution and flowering patterns (flowering durations and flowering midpoint) indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, shifts in flowering patterns are in the direction consistent with past climatic change; shifts in flowering midpoint are from the summer towards the spring, and shifts in flowering duration are reductions in the number of months of flowering. Where nodes optimised at different states are separated by nodes in which the ancestral state is undetermined, we have marked on the basal-most possible location of the shift.

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Additional file 2:

Table illustrating the degree of shift in flowering phenology in the eighteen Cape clades sampled. Mid-month flowering midpoint character states are indicated by an abbreviation for the month in question, while character states at the boundary between two months are indicated by those two month abbreviations separated by a hyphen. Flowering durations are in months. Shifts from the base of the tree towards the tips are indicated as ">". Note that all possible series in the degrees of shift of flowering midpoint and duration are listed. Many nodes optimised at different states are separated by nodes for which the ancestral state is undetermined. Therefore, how many shifts are counted depends on the criteria used to count them. In order to be conservative in our counting, we have counted shifts in the text, in Table 1 and in additional file AF1.pdf based on the basal-most possible location of each shift. As a result of these criteria and tree shape, there are many more possible series in the degrees of shifts marked here than there are basal-most possible positions of shifts in the text, Table 1 and file AF1.pdf.

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