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Proto-South-East Asia as a trigger of early angiosperm diversification
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Darwin described as an 'abominable mystery' the abrupt origin of angiosperms in the mid-Cretaceous and the high diversification rates in their early history. The father of evolutionary theory could not fathom this rapid diversification and rather invoked that 'there was during long ages a small isolated continent in the S. hemisphere, which served as the birthplace of the higher plants'. In this essay, we comment on the spatial origin of angiosperms, but focus primarily on understanding the abiotic factors that promoted the early diversification of angiosperms by reviewing palaeobotanical, palaeogeographical, phylogenetics and biogeographical evidence. We argue that islands located in the region today occupied by South-East Asia played a major role in angiosperm diversification during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.
South-East Asia, islands, Darwin, Wallace
Web of science
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