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Data from: Climatic niche lability but growth form conservatism in the African woody flora


Gorel, Anaïs-Pasiphaé et al. (2022), Data from: Climatic niche lability but growth form conservatism in the African woody flora, Dryad, Dataset,


Climatic niche evolution during the diversification of tropical plants has received little attention in Africa. To address this, we characterized the climatic niche of >4000 tropical African woody species, distinguishing two broad bioclimatic groups (forest vs. savanna) and six subgroups. We quantified niche conservatism versus lability at the genus level and for higher clades, using a molecular phylogeny of >800 genera. Although niche stasis at speciation is prevalent, numerous clades individually cover vast climatic spaces suggesting a general ease in transcending ecological limits, especially across bioclimatic subgroups. The forest biome was the main source of diversity, providing many lineages to savanna, but reverse shifts also occurred. We identified clades that diversified in savanna after shifts from forest. The forest-savanna transition was not consistently associated with a growth form change, though we found evolutionarily labile clades whose presence in forest or savanna is associated respectively with climbing or shrubby species diversification.


Two sets of data are provided:

1) The climatic niches of 4154 woody species occuring in tropical Africa.

2) The bioclimatic affiliations of these species.

All information on the methods used to create these data is provided in the attached manuscript.
Please read the READ_ME.txt file provided with the datasets.


EOS-CANOPI, Award: O.0026.22

Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds UGent, Award: BOF20/PDO/003