Mediterranean island biogeography: Analysis of fern species distribution in the system of islets around Sicily

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Abstract

The aim of this article was to test the way in which geographical factors influence island floras in the Mediterranean basin,using ferns as target organisms, and the islands surrounding Sicily as location. A matrix with presence/absence dataconcerning fern taxa in the 16 islands studied was compiled. Cluster analysis, principal co-ordinates analysis (PCoA),principal components analysis (PCA) and a Bayesian analysis were performed. For each island, the total number of fern taxawas regressed against three factors: island area, island elevation and isolation. All the analyses pointed to affinities betweenislands according to their different geological composition, independently from their geographic position. A clear positiveisland species/area relationship (ISAR) was shown only for the volcanic islands. The island species/(area6elevation)relationship (ISAER), on the contrary, was unsatisfactory. The main features of interest are the following: (1) the cleardivision of the islands into two groups, volcanic vs. sedimentary; (2) the floristic richness of the volcanic compared tosedimentary islands and (3) the uniqueness of the pteridophyte flora of Pantelleria. This seems to demonstrate that the lowernumber of taxa in the islands farthest away from the ‘‘mainland’’ (Sicily, Tunisia) is not due to isolation, but due to anotherfactor, probably habitat availability.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)576-585
Numero di pagine10
RivistaPLANT BIOSYSTEMS
Volume146
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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