Patterns of molecular evolution and diversification in a biodiversity hotspot: The California Floristic Province Academic Article


  • Molecular Ecology


  • The California Floristic Province harbours more endemic plant and animal taxa and more identifiable subspecies than any other area of comparable size in North America. We present evidence that physical historical processes have resulted in congruent patterns of genetic diversity over the past 2-10 million years. Using a molecular clock approach we show that diversification and establishment of spatial genetic structure across six taxonomic groups coincide with the putative age of California's mountain ranges and aridification in the region. Our results demonstrate the importance of geographical barriers and climatological events to species diversification and the overall geographical structure of biodiversity. These results should facilitate conservation efforts in this biodiversity hotspot for taxa whose population genetic structure is still unknown and may suggest the potential utility of this approach in regional conservation planning efforts.

publication date

  • 2003-4-1


  • 12


  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Genetic Structures
  • Genetic Variation
  • Molecular Evolution
  • North America
  • Physical Phenomena
  • Population Genetics
  • animal
  • animals
  • aridification
  • biodiversity
  • biodiversity conservation
  • conservation planning
  • floristics
  • genetic diversity
  • genetic structure
  • genetic variation
  • harbor
  • mountain range
  • mountains
  • planning
  • population genetics
  • province
  • subspecies

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-1083

number of pages

  • 9

start page

  • 1021

end page

  • 1029