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Citation for Study 2186

About Citation title: "Phylogeny of the tribe Indigofereae (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae): geographically structured more in succulent rish and temperate settings than in grass-rich environments.".
About This study was previously identified under the legacy study ID S2193 (Status: Published).


Barker N., Forest F., Lavin M., & Schrire B. 2009. Phylogeny of the tribe Indigofereae (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae): geographically structured more in succulent rish and temperate settings than in grass-rich environments. American Journal of Botany, null.


  • Barker N.
  • Forest F.
  • Lavin M.
  • Schrire B.


This analysis goes beyond most published phylogenies in exploring how phylogentic structure imposed by ecology, geography and morphology can be interpreted to reveal significant new information about the evolution of a group. It covers a comprehensive range of morphological, ecological, and biogeographical diversity within tribe Indigofereae and among outgroups from the sister tribes Millettieae, Abreae and Phaseoleae. A combined data set of 321 terminal taxa (over one-third of the tribe) by 80 morphological characters, 833 aligned sites from the nuclear ribosomal ITS/5.8S region, and an indel data set of 33 characters was subjected to parsimony analysis. Notable results include the Madagascan dry forest Disynstemon resolved as sister to tribe Indigofereae, and all species of the large genus Indigofera are resolved in just four main clades, each diagnosable by morphological synapomorphies and ecological and geographical predilections. This suggests niche conservation (ecology) and dispersal limitation (geography) are important processes shaping the Indigofereae phylogeny. Tropical dry succulent-rich vegetation and the north-east to south-west African Arid Corridor are considered pivotal to the diversification of Indigofera. A rates analysis of nucleotide substitutions confirms the ages of the oldest crown clades are mostly younger than 16 Ma, implicating dispersal in explaining the worldwide distribution of the tribe. Clades confined to temperate and succulent-rich vegetation show more geographical phylogenetic structure than those inhabiting tropical grass-rich vegetation. Dispersal limitation in these vegetation types is more pronounced than in savanna vegetation. This comprehensive study will provide a context for ongoing and future evolutionary studies of this legume group and in general to species-rich pantropical genera like Indigofera.

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