Data from: Evolution and biogeography of the endemic Roucela complex (Campanulaceae: Campanula) in the eastern Mediterranean
Crowl, Andrew A. et al. (2016), Data from: Evolution and biogeography of the endemic Roucela complex (Campanulaceae: Campanula) in the eastern Mediterranean, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v6p3h
At the intersection of geological activity, climatic fluctuations, and human pressure, the Mediterranean Basin – a hotspot of biodiversity – provides an ideal setting for studying endemism, evolution, and biogeography. Here, we focus on the Roucela complex (Campanula subgenus Roucela), a group of 13 bellflower species found primarily in the eastern Mediterranean Basin. Plastid and low-copy nuclear markers were employed to reconstruct evolutionary relationships and estimate divergence times within the Roucela complex using both concatenation and species tree analyses. Niche modeling, ancestral range estimation, and diversification analyses were conducted to provide further insights into patterns of endemism and diversification through time. Diversification of the Roucela clade appears to have been primarily the result of vicariance driven by the breakup of an ancient landmass. We found geologic events such as the formation of the mid-Aegean trench and the Messinian Salinity Crisis to be historically important in the evolutionary history of this group. Contrary to numerous past studies, the onset of the Mediterranean climate has not promoted diversification in the Roucela complex and, in fact, may be negatively affecting these species. This study highlights the diversity and complexity of historical processes driving plant evolution in the Mediterranean Basin.