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Am J Bot. 1998 Jun;85(6):866.

Phylogeny and biogeography of Aralia sect. Aralia (Araliaceae).


Aralia sect. Aralia (Araliaceae) consists of approximately eight species disjunctly distributed in Asia and North America. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses were conducted using sequences of the internal transcribed spacer regions of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. Aralia racemosa from eastern North America was sister to A. californica from western North America. Aralia cordata from eastern Asia did not form a species-pair relationship with the eastern North American A. racemosa. The two subspecies of A. racemosa formed a monophyletic group. Biogeographic analyses showed a close area relationship between eastern North America and western North America. The Himalayas were cladistically basal and eastern Asia was placed between the Himalayas and North America. The biogeographic analysis supported the origin of the eastern Asian and eastern North American disjunct pattern in Aralia sect. Aralia via the Bering land bridges. Comparisons with results of phylogenetic analyses of other genera suggested that (1) the floristic connection between eastern North America and western North America may be stronger than previously thought; and (2) the biogeographic patterns in the Northern Hemisphere are complex. Furthermore, a lack of correlation between sequence divergence values and phylogenetic positions was observed, suggesting the importance of a phylogenetic framework in biogeographic analyses.

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