The Austral floristic realm revisited

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Abstract

The classification of the Earth's flora into floristic regions has been the major goal of plant geography since the 19th century. A detailed revision of 19th and 20th century classifications is presented herein, with particular emphasis on the delimitation of the Austral floristic realm. A comparison between Chile, New Zealand, and the Cape Floristic Region is made at the genus level. Using the vascular flora of these biogeographical regions, the analysis revises previous attempts to define the Austral realm, while also assessing differences made by changes in taxonomic delimitations from recent molecular phylogenetic studies. The results indicate that the Austral floristic realm can nowadays be better described as a circum-Antarctic generalized track, composed of some 60 genera and 15 families restricted to South America and Australasia, possibly including South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1660
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biogeography
Volume34
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Australasia
  • Biogeographical classification
  • Cape Floristic Region
  • Chile
  • Floristic kingdom
  • New Zealand
  • Panbiogeography
  • South Pacific track
  • Southern South America

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