Understanding the processes underlying plant dispersal is crucial to predicting their response to environmental change. Worth et al. investigate biogeographic patterns of chloroplast DNA polymorphisms detected using Next Generation Sequencing in 20 wet and dry plants common to forests on both sides of the 200 km wide Bass Strait, Southeastern Australia.
Higher proportions of shared polymorphisms across the Strait were found in dry-forest species, compared to wet-forest species, and especially in bird dispersed species. These findings support that plants of dry and open habitats have greater dispersal capacity, and highlight that habitat type and its interaction with dispersal traits are major influences on dispersal of plants.