Journal article

Chance long-distance or human-mediated dispersal? How Acacia s.l. farnesiana attained its pan-tropical distribution

Karen L Bell, Haripriya Rangan, Manuel M Fernandes, Christian A Kull, Daniel J Murphy

Royal Society Open Science | The Royal Society | Published : 2017


Acacia s.l. farnesiana, which originates from Mesoamerica, is the most widely distributed Acacia s.l. species across the tropics. It is assumed that the plant was transferred across the Atlantic to southern Europe by Spanish explorers, and then spread across the Old World tropics through a combination of chance long-distance and human-mediated dispersal. Our study uses genetic analysis and information from historical sources to test the relative roles of chance and human-mediated dispersal in its distribution. The results confirm the Mesoamerican origins of the plant and show three patterns of human-mediated dispersal. Samples from Spain showed greater genetic diversity than those from other..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Grant

Awarded by Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia

Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded through Australian Research Council Grant DP1093100 (H.R., D.J.M., C.A.K.). M.M.F. received doctoral scholarship funding from Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, ref. SFRH/BD/76100/2011.