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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 6(2)

Studies on the origin, evolution and distribution of the Gramineae. I. The tribe Andropogoneae

W Hartley

Australian Journal of Botany 6(2) 116 - 128
Published: 1958


From a study of the grass flora of some 300 regions, a world distribution map of the grass tribe, Andropogoneae, has been prepared. This map shows that the Indo-Malaysian region is relatively rich in species of the tribe, with zones of high concentration in western India and in southern Indonesia. The relative species density falls off rapidly in passing from the tropical to the temperate zones, and is lower in the western than in the eastern hemisphere.

Climatic factors are of major importance in determining the distribution pattern. Winter temperatures are of special significance in temperate regions, while there is a striking relationship between high midsummer rainfall and relative abundance of species of Andropogoneae in the tropics and subtropics.

In general, the geographical survey supports conclusions drawn from taxonomic and cytological evidence regarding the origin and evolution of the tribe, but with greater emphasis on climate as a significant factor. The Andropogoneae have had a long evolutionary history in the eastern hemisphere, but have spread more recently to the western hemisphere, where they have not yet attained their full development.

Full text doi:10.1071/BT9580116

© CSIRO 1958

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