Taxonomy & Evolution

Phylogeography and acquisition of dioecy in Malvaceae


In the Mascarenes, a young oceanic archipelago, the Dombeyoideae have extensively diversified and have evolved specific breeding systems compared to the continental species. By constructing a molecular phylogeny, Le Péchon et al. (pp. 343–357) show that the diversity of the Mascarene’s Dombeyoideae is the result of four independent colonizations from Madagascar and that dioecy is an evolutionary convergence that may be the consequence of selective pressure particular to oceanic island environments.

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