Spatial phylogenetics of the vascular flora of Chile

Rosa A. Scherson*, Andrew H. Thornhill, Rafael Urbina-Casanova, William A. Freyman, Patricio A. Pliscoff, Brent D. Mishler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Current geographic patterns of biodiversity are a consequence of the evolutionary history of the lineages that comprise them. This study was aimed at exploring how evolutionary features of the vascular flora of Chile are distributed across the landscape. Using a phylogeny at the genus level for 87% of the Chilean vascular flora, and a geographic database of sample localities, we calculated phylogenetic diversity (PD), phylogenetic endemism (PE), relative PD (RPD), and relative PE (RPE). Categorical Analyses of Neo- and Paleo-Endemism (CANAPE) were also performed, using a spatial randomization to assess statistical significance. A cluster analysis using range-weighted phylogenetic turnover was used to compare among grid cells, and with known Chilean bioclimates. PD patterns were concordant with known centers of high taxon richness and the Chilean biodiversity hotspot. In addition, several other interesting areas of concentration of evolutionary history were revealed as potential conservation targets. The south of the country shows areas of significantly high RPD and a concentration of paleo-endemism, and the north shows areas of significantly low PD and RPD, and a concentration of neo-endemism. Range-weighted phylogenetic turnover shows high congruence with the main macrobioclimates of Chile. Even though the study was done at the genus level, the outcome provides an accurate outline of phylogenetic patterns that can be filled in as more fine-scaled information becomes available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Chilean vascular flora
  • Conservation
  • Paleo and neo endemism
  • Phylogenetic diversity
  • Phylogenetic endemism
  • Spatial phylogenetics


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