Is Geographic Range Correlated with Climatic Range in Austrlian Spyridium Taxa?
Coates, F and Kirkpatrick, JB, Is Geographic Range Correlated with Climatic Range in Austrlian Spyridium Taxa?, Australian Journal of Botany, 47, (5) pp. 755-767. ISSN 0067-1924 (1999) [Refereed Article]
The major centres of local endemism and richness at the species level and below in Spyridium Fenzl are located on the southern coast of Western Australia and in south-eastern South Australia. There are only a few Spyridium taxa with ranges that transgress the boundaries of the following four regions: southwestern Western Australia; south-eastern South Australia and western Victoria; eastern Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland; Tasmania. Synthetic climatic variables were generated for all recorded populations of Spyridium taxa. Variabilities in these were related to the maximum geographic ranges of taxa in Australia as a whole, and within the regions, in order to test the hypothesis that narrow endemism is explained by climatic restriction since the last glacial. In Australia as a whole, local endemics are both narrowly and widely distributed climatically, as are more widespread Spyridium taxa, and there were no significant relationships between the climatic and geographic ranges of taxa confined to the Australian mainland regions. However, Tasmanian taxa exhibited a strong positive relationship. Restriction of range as a result of climate change is an unlikely explanation for local endemism in Spyridium in mainland Australia, where topographic and climatic gradients are generally subdued, and which apparently experienced less severe climatic oscillations during the Quaternary. However, this hypothesis cannot be rejected for Tasmania, which experienced more extreme Quaternary climatic fluctuations than the present-day areas of mediterranean climate, and hence more severe fluctuations in the area and location of climatically suitable habitats.