Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Professor of Evolutionary Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 2247t.barraclough Website




N2.4Silwood ParkSilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Schley, RJ and de, la Estrella M and Pérez-Escobar, OA and Bruneau, A and Barraclough, T and Forest, F and Klitgård, B},
doi = {10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.029},
journal = {Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution},
pages = {279--292},
title = {Is Amazonia a ‘museum’ for Neotropical trees? The evolution of the Brownea clade (Detarioideae, Leguminosae)},
url = {},
volume = {126},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - © 2018 Elsevier Inc. The flora of the Neotropics is unmatched in its diversity, however the mechanisms by which diversity has accumulated are debated and largely unclear. The Brownea clade (Leguminosae) is a characteristic component of the Neotropical flora, and the species within it are diverse in their floral morphology, attracting a wide variety of pollinators. This investigation aimed to estimate species divergence times and infer relationships within the group, in order to test whether the Brownea clade followed the ‘cradle’ or ‘museum’ model of diversification, i.e. whether species evolved rapidly over a short time period, or gradually over many millions of years. We also aimed to trace the spatio-temporal evolution of the clade by estimating ancestral biogeographical patterns in the group. We used BEAST to build a dated phylogeny of 73 Brownea clade species using three molecular markers (ITS, trnK and psbA-trnH), resulting in well-resolved phylogenetic relationships within the clade, as well as robust divergence time estimates from which we inferred diversification rates and ancestral biogeography. Our analyses revealed an Eocene origin for the group, after which the majority of diversification happened in Amazonia during the Miocene, most likely concurrent with climatic and geological changes caused by the rise of the Andes. We found no shifts in diversification rate over time, suggesting a gradual accumulation of lineages with low extinction rates. These results may help to understand why Amazonia is host to the highest diversity of tree species on Earth.
AU - Schley,RJ
AU - de,la Estrella M
AU - Pérez-Escobar,OA
AU - Bruneau,A
AU - Barraclough,T
AU - Forest,F
AU - Klitgård,B
DO - 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.029
EP - 292
PY - 2018///
SN - 1055-7903
SP - 279
TI - Is Amazonia a ‘museum’ for Neotropical trees? The evolution of the Brownea clade (Detarioideae, Leguminosae)
T2 - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
UR -
UR -
VL - 126
ER -