Phylogeography and biogeography of fungi
Lumbsch, H. Thorsten Department of Botany, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois.
- Molecular data revolutionized species delimitation
- Distribution patterns of fungi
- Inference of ancestral areas
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The geographical distribution of organisms is shaped by a number of factors, including ecological requirements, competition with other species, and historical events. However, the historical factors that shaped the current spatial occurrence of fungi have traditionally been understudied. The scarcity of the fossil record in fungi has made the evaluation of the importance of historical events in these organisms difficult. Before molecular techniques [such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cycle sequencing] dramatically increased the availability of DNA sequence data, historical factors were only rarely studied. These studies were largely restricted to a few fungi that share distribution patterns with flowering plants. Molecular data, in tandem with new statistical tools, provided an avenue for analyzing the geographical distribution of genealogical lineages in a phylogeographical framework. The term phylogeography describes the analysis of the historical processes responsible for the contemporary geographic distributions of individuals. This is achieved by studying the geographic distribution of individuals in light of the patterns associated with a gene genealogy.
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