Santiago Martín-Bravo, Pedro Jiménez-Mejías, Tamara Villaverde, Marcial Escudero, Marlene Hahn, Daniel Spalink, Eric H. Roalson, Andrew L. Hipp, and the Global Carex Group (Carmen Benítez-Benítez, Leo P. Bruederle, Elisabeth Fitzek, Bruce A. Ford, Kerry A. Ford, Mira Garner, Sebastian Gebauer, Matthias H. Hoffmann, Xiao-Feng Jin, Isabel Larridon, Étienne Léveillé-Bourret, Yi-Fei Lu, Modesto Luceño, Enrique Maguilla, Jose Ignacio Márquez-Corro, Mónica Míguez, Robert Naczi, Anton A. Reznicek, and Julian R. Starr)
2019, 57 (6): 695–718
The megadiverse genus Carex (c. 2000 species, Cyperaceae) has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution, displaying an inverted latitudinal richness gradient with higher species diversity in cold‐temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Despite great expansion in our knowledge of the phylogenetic history of the genus and many molecular studies focusing on the biogeography of particular groups during the last few decades, a global analysis of Carex biogeography and diversification is still lacking. For this purpose, we built the hitherto most comprehensive Carex‐dated phylogeny based on three markers (ETS–ITS–matK), using a previous phylogenomic Hyb‐Seq framework, and a sampling of two‐thirds of its species and all recognized sections. Ancestral area reconstruction, biogeographic stochastic mapping, and diversification rate analyses were conducted to elucidate macroevolutionary biogeographic and diversification patterns. Our results reveal that Carex originated in the late Eocene in E Asia, where it probably remained until the synchronous diversification of its main subgeneric lineages during the late Oligocene. E Asia is supported as the cradle of Carex diversification, as well as a “museum” of extant species diversity. Subsequent “out‐of‐Asia” colonization patterns feature multiple asymmetric dispersals clustered toward present times among the Northern Hemisphere regions, with major regions acting both as source and sink (especially Asia and North America), as well as several independent colonization events of the Southern Hemisphere. We detected 13 notable diversification rate shifts during the last 10 My, including remarkable radiations in North America and New Zealand, which occurred concurrently with the late Neogene global cooling, which suggests that diversification involved the colonization of new areas and expansion into novel areas of niche space.