University Of Tasmania
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An investigation of long-distance dispersal based on species native to both Tasmania and New Zealand

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posted on 2023-05-25, 22:52 authored by Jordan, GJ
Some 200 species of plants are currently recognised as being native to both Tasmania and New Zealand. It is argued that dispersal across the 1500-2000 km Tasman Sea has occurred in all of these species. Almost all (187) are herbs, and constitute over 20% of the herbaceous flora of Tasmania. Common species, non-dioecious species, species with very small seeds, species from aquatic, coastal or wet habitats and possibly species with hooked fruit are all over-represented among the disjunct species of herbs. The incidence of disjunct species also varies significantly among families. In contrast, fleshy-fruited species, or species with plumes or very hairy disseminules are not over-represented among the herbaceous disjunct species. This data is used to model the probability that a species (past or present) with given traits would show a within-species trans-Tasman disjunction, and it is inferred that this can be used to give a crude approximation of the rates of long-distance dispersal for different types of species. The model can be tested using molecular clock methods, and could be made more robust by incorporating equivalent data from other disjunct regions.


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Australian Journal of Botany



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