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The lasting biological signature of Pliocene tectonics: Reviewing the re-routing of Australia’s largest river drainage system

Waters, JM, Burridge, CP ORCID: 0000-0002-8185-6091 and Craw, D 2019 , 'The lasting biological signature of Pliocene tectonics: Reviewing the re-routing of Australia’s largest river drainage system' , Journal of Biogeography, vol. 46, no. 7 , pp. 1494-1503 , doi: 10.1111/jbi.13612.

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Abstract

Aim:Biological diversification can be substantially influenced by earth history. The links between biological and geological processes can be particularly tight for obligate freshwater biota. Here, we test for such links with respect to Pliocene shifts in drainage geometry of one of the Australia's largest river systems.Location:Major rivers of south‐eastern Australia.Taxon:Freshwater‐limited fishes and crayfish.Methods:We synthesize recently published geological and freshwater phylogeographic data to elucidate the evolutionary history of south‐eastern Australia's major river drainages and their biotas.Results:Recent data demonstrate how a major Pliocene drainage rearrangement event in the lower Murray‐Darling basin led to the evolution of a distinctive and “marooned” phylogeographic assemblage in the Glenelg and Wimmera drainages.Main conclusions:Biological data from southern Australia illuminate the region's geological history, and vice versa. Our study highlights the persisting evolutionary effects of a major Pliocene drainage rearrangement. The lasting geological and biological preservation of such an ancient tectonic event is apparently facilitated by Australia's uniquely stable geological setting.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Waters, JM and Burridge, CP and Craw, D
Keywords: Australia, biogeography, DNA, evolution, freshwater, geomorphology, landscape, Murray-Darling basin, phylogeography, river capture
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Biogeography
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN: 1365-2699
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/jbi.13612
Copyright Information:

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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