A macroevolutionary analysis of macroecological relationships in Rhodocoma revealed a complex history of rapid ecological divergence, as well as genetic isolation via shifts in ﬂowering times. The rate and extent of divergence observed among even the youngest of species pairs indicated that the selective forces driving these processes are strong enough to effect substantial amounts of ecological change in relatively short periods of time, and are potentially important factors promoting the origin and persistence of species diversity not only in Rhodocoma, but also the African Restionaceae as a whole. These results also suggest that the rate and extent of ecological differentiation can vary between lineages, and this may be a consequence of variations in the intensities of selective regimes or phylogenetic constraints that different lineages experience. Investigation into the nature of this differentiation revealed that much of it has occurred along altitudinal gradients, but in tandem with substantial shifts in other ecological parameters such as rainfall and ﬁre survival. This multidimensionality of ecological differentiation increases the number of possible combinations of ecological parameters and may allow for a more precise partitioning of niche space.
Hardy, Christopher R. and Linder, H. Peter
"Phylogeny and Historical Ecology of Rhodocoma (Restionaceae) from the Cape Floristic Region,"
Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany:
1, Article 16.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/aliso/vol23/iss1/16