rwinkworth@phylodiversity.net

"...affecting a botanical relationship as strong as that which prevails throughout the lands within the Arctic and Northern Temperate zones..."
(J. Hooker, 1853)

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Floristic links between Australia, New Zealand, and southern South America have been recognized for over a century and a half. At least 100 groups of plants have a so-called “austral distribution” (e.g., Hebe and Nothofagus). Traditional explanations have focused on Gondwanan vicariance and long distance dispersal. However, recent syntheses of molecular phylogenies with geological and fossil data suggest both dispersal and vicariance are required to fully explain southern hemisphere plant distribution patterns. These studies also indicate complex patterns of dispersal. West Wind Drift seems not to have limited the directionality of dispersal events as previously thought.

I am currently working on projects with Steve Wagstaff (Landcare Research) and several researchers at the Université de Rennes 1 to further investigate these patterns.