Paper No. 254-4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM
BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE BRAZIL NUT FAMILY
The Lecythidaceae clade of the order Ericales consists of trees found in the Neotropics (from Mexico to Paraguay), West Africa, East Africa (including Madagascar and several adjacent islands), Southeast Asia, and Australia. Distribution maps are provided for the higher order taxa in this clade as follows: subfamilies Barringtonioideae, Foetidioideae, and Lecythidoideae and the families Napoleonaeaceae, and Scytopetalaceae. A more detailed analysis of the distribution of the New World Lecythidoideae is presented and hypotheses are proposed for the relationship of Old and New World Lecythidaceae as well other hypotheses about the distributions of taxa in the New World, e.g., the presence of clades restricted to specific geographic areas, the relationship of Lecythidaceae in eastern Brazil and Amazonia, and the evolution of actinomorphic and zygomorphic flowered Lecythidaceae within Central and South America. It is shown that neotropical Lecythidaceae have various methods of seed dispersal some of which demonstrate that given long enough time and suitable habitats taxa of Lecythidaceae can attain extremely wide distributions. It is pointed out that sampling bias, incorrect determinations, and the absence of time calibrated phylogenetic trees have to be considered when proposing hypotheses about the distribution of New World Lecythidaceae.