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Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests

Slik, JWF and Franklin, J and Arroyo-Rodríguez, V and Field, R and Aguilar, S and Aguirre, N and Ahumada, J and Aiba, SI and Alves, LF and Anitha, K and Avella, A and Mora, F and Aymard, GAC and Báez, S and Balvanera, P and Bastian, ML and Bastin, JF and Bellingham, PJ and Van Den Berg, E and Da Conceição Bispo, P and Boeckx, P and Boehning-Gaese, K and Bongers, F and Boyle, B and Brambach, F and Brearley, FQ and Brown, S and Chai, SL and Chazdon, RL and Chen, S and Chhang, P and Chuyong, G and Ewango, C and Coronado, IM and Cristóbal-Azkarate, J and Culmsee, H and Damas, K and Dattaraja, HS and Davidar, P and DeWalt, SJ and DIn, H and Drake, DR and Duque, A and Durigan, G and Eichhorn, K and Eler, ES and Enoki, T and Ensslin, A and Fandohan, AB and Farwig, N and Feeley, KJ and Fischer, M and Forshed, O and Garcia, QS and Garkoti, SC and Gillespie, TW and Gillet, JF and Gonmadje, C and Granzow-De La Cerda, I and Griffith, DM and Grogan, J and Hakeem, KR and Harris, DJ and Harrison, RD and Hector, A and Hemp, A and Homeier, J and Hussain, MS and Ibarra-Manríquez, G and Hanum, IF and Imai, N and Jansen, PA and Joly, CA and Joseph, S and Kartawinata, K and Kearsley, E and Kelly, DL and Kessler, M and Killeen, TJ and Kooyman, RM and Laumonier, Y and Laurance, SG and Laurance, WF and Lawes, MJ and Letcher, SG and Lindsell, J and Lovett, J and Lozada, J and Lu, X and Lykke, AM and Bin Mahmud, K and Mahayani, NPD (2018) Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 115 (8). pp. 1837-1842. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

© 2017 IEEE. Knowledge about the biogeographic affinities of the world's tropical forests helps to better understand regional differences in forest structure, diversity, composition, and dynamics. Such understanding will enable anticipation of region-specific responses to global environmental change. Modern phylogenies, in combination with broad coverage of species inventory data, now allow for global biogeographic analyses that take species evolutionary distance into account. Here we present a classification of the world's tropical forests based on their phylogenetic similarity. We identify five principal floristic regions and their floristic relationships: (i) Indo-Pacific, (ii) Subtropical, (iii) African, (iv) American, and (v) Dry forests. Our results do not support the traditional neo- versus paleotropical forest division but instead separate the combined American and African forests from their Indo-Pacific counterparts. We also find indications for the existence of a global dry forest region, with representatives in America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. Additionally, a northern-hemisphere Subtropical forest region was identified with representatives in Asia and America, providing support for a link between Asian and American northernhemisphere forests.

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