Original Research

Speciation environments and centres of diversity in southern Africa. I. Conceptual framework

E. R. Robinson, G. E. Gibbs Russell
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 1 | a1145 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i1.1145 | © 1982 E. R. Robinson, G. E. Gibbs Russell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 1982 | Published: 31 October 1982

About the author(s)

E. R. Robinson, Department of Botany, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
G. E. Gibbs Russell, Botanical Research Institute. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, South Africa

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A knowledge of the nature and distribution of the environments where speciation (micro-evolution) is or has been rapid would help explain plant distributions and give insight into the mechanisms of plant evolution. Before southern African speciation environments can be identified and described, a number of basic theoretical concepts have to be clarified. In this paper the major taxonomic, systematic, floristic, ecological and evolutionary ideas pertinent to speciation environments are reviewed and discussed. Despite many publications about species concepts, species diversity, modes of speciation and the relationship between environments and genetic variability within taxa, it is still not possible to make predictions about the kinds of environments that favour speciation.


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