Phylogeny and biogeography of Tiliacoreae (Menispermaceae), a tribe restricted to tropical rainforests

作  者:Lian L, Peng HW, Ortiz RD, Jabbour F, Gao TG, Erst AS, Chen ZD, Wang W*
刊物名称:Annals of Botany
卷:  期:  页码:DOI:10.1093/aob/mcad023


Background and Aims

Modern tropical rainforests house the highest biodiversity of Earth’s terrestrial biomes and are distributed in three low-latitude areas. However, the biogeographical patterns and processes underlying the distribution of biodiversity among these three areas are still poorly known. Here, we used Tiliacoreae, a tribe of pantropical lianas with a high level of regional endemism, to provide new insights into the biogeographical relationships of tropical rainforests among different continents.


Based on seven plastid and two nuclear DNA regions, we reconstructed a phylogeny for Tiliacoreae with the most comprehensive sampling ever. Within the phylogenetic framework, we then estimated divergence times and investigated the spatiotemporal evolution of the tribe.

Key Results

The monophyletic Tiliacoreae contain three major clades, which correspond to Neotropical, Afrotropical and Indo-Malesian/Australasian areas, respectively. Both Albertisia and Anisocycla are not monophyletic. The most recent common ancestor of Tiliacoreae occurred in Indo-Malesia, the Afrotropics and Neotropics in the early Eocene, then rapidly diverged into three major clades between 48 and 46 Ma. Three dispersals from Indo-Malesia to Australasia were inferred, one in the middle Eocene and two in the late Oligocene–late Miocene, and two dispersals from the Afrotropics to Indo-Malesia occurred in the late Eocene–Oligocene.


The three main clades of Anisocycla correspond to three distinct genera [i.e. Anisocycla sensu stricto and two new genera (Georgesia and Macrophragma)]. Epinetrum is a member of Albertisia. Our findings highlight that sea-level fluctuations and climate changes in the Cenozoic have played important roles in shaping the current distribution and endemism of Tiliacoreae, hence contributing to the knowledge on the historical biogeography of tropical rainforests on a global scale.