Why are the tropics such a hotbed of plant diversity, and what mechanisms are most responsible for shaping these evolutionary patterns? This study sought to tackle ‘one of the most intriguing questions in modern biogeography’ by exploring the origins and spread of the genus Begonia. Pairing genetic analysis of around 1,600 Andean-centered Begonia species with a reconstruction of their ancestral ranges that relies on 22,374 GBIF-mediated records, the findings highlight Begonia’s numerous radiation events and the importance of chance in regional and continental-scale dispersals of species.
Moonlight, P. W., Richardson, J. E., Tebbitt, M. C., Thomas, D. C., Hollands, R., Peng, C.-I., & Hughes, M. (2015). Continental-scale diversification patterns in a megadiverse genus: the biogeography of Neotropical Begonia. Journal of Biogeography, 42(6), 1137–1149. doi:10.1111/jbi.12496