COUVREUR Thomas's profile
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COUVREUR Thomas

  • UMR DIADE, Equipe DYNADIV, IRD, Montpellier, France
  • Macroevolution, Phylogenetics / Phylogenomics, Phylogeography & Biogeography, Systematics / Taxonomy
  • recommender

Recommendations:  0

Review:  1

Educational and work
I am researcher and botanist at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), now based in Montpellier, France. My main interest lies in understanding the evolution, resilience and biodiversity of tropical biodiversity, and rain forests in particular, one of the most complex and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Rain forests are important global climate regulators and provide subsidence such as food and shelter to millions of people across the tropics. I undertake research in taxonomy, molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography using DNA sequence data, morphological evolution, and modelling of species distribution at different time intervals. I also undertake research on economically important species (socio economic studies and documentaries). I focus on two wonderful tropical rain forest plant families palms and the Soursop family Annonaceae. My research has an impact in tropical biodiversity conservation and provides fundamental data towards assessing the influence of ongoing climate change on tropical rain forest biodiversity. Follow me on @tlpcouvreur webpage: couvreurlab.weebly.com

Review:  1

2017-09-29
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Parallel diversifications of Cremastosperma and Mosannona (Annonaceae), tropical rainforest trees tracking Neogene upheaval of the South American continent

Recommended by based on reviews by Thomas Couvreur and Hervé Sauquet

Unravelling the history of Neotropical plant diversification

South American rainforests, particularly the Tropical Andes, have been recognized as the hottest spot of plant biodiversity on Earth, while facing unprecedented threats from human impact [1,2]. Considerable research efforts have recently focused on unravelling the complex geological, bioclimatic, and biogeographic history of the region [3,4]. While many studies have addressed the question of Neotropical plant diversification using parametric methods to reconstruct ancestral areas and patterns of dispersal, Pirie et al. [5] take a distinct, complementary approach. Based on a new, near-complete molecular phylogeny of two Neotropical genera of the flowering plant family Annonaceae, the authors modelled the ecological niche of each species and reconstructed the history of niche differentiation across the region. The main conclusion is that, despite similar current distributions and close phylogenetic distance, the two genera experienced rather distinct processes of diversification, responding differently to the major geological events marking the history of the region in the last 20 million years (Andean uplift, drainage of Lake Pebas, and closure of the Panama Isthmus).

As a researcher who has not personally worked on Neotropical biogeography, I found this paper captivating and especially enjoyed very much reading the Introduction, which sets out the questions very clearly. The strength of this paper is the near-complete diversity of species the authors were able to sample in each clade and the high-quality data compiled for the niche models. I would recommend this paper as a nice example of a phylogenetic study aimed at unravelling the detailed history of Neotropical plant diversification. While large, synthetic meta-analyses of many clades should continue to seek general patterns [4,6], careful studies restricted on smaller, but well controlled and sampled datasets such as this one are essential to really understand tropical plant diversification in all its complexity.

References

[1] Antonelli A, and Sanmartín I. 2011. Why are there so many plant species in the Neotropics? Taxon 60, 403–414.

[2] Mittermeier RA, Robles-Gil P, Hoffmann M, Pilgrim JD, Brooks TB, Mittermeier CG, Lamoreux JL and Fonseca GAB. 2004. Hotspots revisited: Earths biologically richest and most endangered ecoregions. CEMEX, Mexico City, Mexico 390pp

[3] Antonelli A, Nylander JAA, Persson C and Sanmartín I. 2009. Tracing the impact of the Andean uplift on Neotropical plant evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 106, 9749–9754. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0811421106

[4] Hoorn C, Wesselingh FP, ter Steege H, Bermudez MA, Mora A, Sevink J, Sanmartín I, Sanchez-Meseguer A, Anderson CL, Figueiredo JP, Jaramillo C, Riff D, Negri FR, Hooghiemstra H, Lundberg J, Stadler T, Särkinen T and Antonelli A. 2010. Amazonia through time: Andean uplift, climate change, landscape evolution, and biodiversity. Science 330, 927–931. doi: 10.1126/science.1194585

[5] Pirie MD, Maas PJM, Wilschut R, Melchers-Sharrott H and Chatrou L. 2017. Parallel diversifications of Cremastosperma and Mosannona (Annonaceae), tropical rainforest trees tracking Neogene upheaval of the South American continent. bioRxiv, 141127, ver. 3 of 28th Sept 2017. doi: 10.1101/141127

[6] Bacon CD, Silvestro D, Jaramillo C, Tilston Smith B, Chakrabartye P and Antonelli A. 2015. Biological evidence supports an early and complex emergence of the Isthmus of Panama. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 112, 6110–6115. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1423853112

avatar

COUVREUR Thomas

  • UMR DIADE, Equipe DYNADIV, IRD, Montpellier, France
  • Macroevolution, Phylogenetics / Phylogenomics, Phylogeography & Biogeography, Systematics / Taxonomy
  • recommender

Recommendations:  0

Review:  1

Educational and work
I am researcher and botanist at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), now based in Montpellier, France. My main interest lies in understanding the evolution, resilience and biodiversity of tropical biodiversity, and rain forests in particular, one of the most complex and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Rain forests are important global climate regulators and provide subsidence such as food and shelter to millions of people across the tropics. I undertake research in taxonomy, molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography using DNA sequence data, morphological evolution, and modelling of species distribution at different time intervals. I also undertake research on economically important species (socio economic studies and documentaries). I focus on two wonderful tropical rain forest plant families palms and the Soursop family Annonaceae. My research has an impact in tropical biodiversity conservation and provides fundamental data towards assessing the influence of ongoing climate change on tropical rain forest biodiversity. Follow me on @tlpcouvreur webpage: couvreurlab.weebly.com