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FynbosEcology, Evolution, and Conservation of a Megadiverse Region$
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Nicky Allsopp, Jonathan F. Colville, and G. Anthony Verboom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679584.001.0001

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Floristic and faunal Cape biochoria: do they exist?

Floristic and faunal Cape biochoria: do they exist?

(p.73) Chapter 4 Floristic and faunal Cape biochoria: do they exist?

Jonathan F. Colville

Alastair J. Potts

Peter L. Bradshaw

G. John Measey

Dee Snijman

Mike D. Picker

Şerban Procheş

Rauri C. K. Bowie

John C. Manning

Oxford University Press

Recently, the concept of a Greater Cape Floristic Region (GFCR), incorporating both the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) and adjacent winter rainfall succulent karoo region, has found favour as a more coherent biogeographical unit. It is not clear, however, whether a Greater Cape Region is sensible only in the context of floristic data, or whether the cool-season moisture zone shows biogeographic coherence across a broader sampling of taxonomic groups, i.e. a Greater Cape Biochorion. This chapter provides a systematic and consistent biogeographic evaluation, at the species level, of five very different taxonomic groups (plants, birds, butterflies, reptiles, and frogs) and tests the hypothesis for an extended Greater Cape Biochorion. Only in plants and butterflies did the winter rainfall and mesic aseasonal areas cluster to form a Greater Cape Biochorion. For birds and reptiles, arid winter rainfall areas showed greater affinity to the arid Nama karoo than to mesic winter rainfall areas. Frogs, on the other hand, retrieved the mesic winter and arid winter rainfall areas as distinct primary regions. Thus, limited consensus was found for a Greater Cape Biochorion. For birds and reptiles, however, the CFR clustered with succulent karoo and Nama karoo, indicating that the faunal affinities of these arid areas appear closest with the Cape fauna. Therefore, the chapter considered a Greater Cape Biochorion with extensions as a concept for investigating Cape faunal biogeography. Overall, the chapter reveals the complexity of reconciling biogeographic patterns across taxonomic groups, emphasizing that chorological divisions depend heavily on the taxa examined.

Keywords:   biogeography, Greater Cape Biochorion, birds, butterflies, frogs, plants, reptiles

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