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Bamigboye Samuel Oloruntoba

Bamigboye Samuel Oloruntoba

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Title: Acceleration of cycad diversification towards the end of pliocene in African

Biography

Bamigboye Samuel Oloruntoba got his bachelors degree in Biological Sciences at University of Agriculture Abeokuta Ogun state, Nigeria. He got his Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Botany and Plant Biotechnology at University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Bamigboye Samuel is currently rounding up his masters in Botany and biotechnology with specialization in molecular systematics and evolutionary biology at University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstract

"Gymnosperms have long been regarded as living fossils. Recent studies have challenged this view, triggering a surge towards a better understanding of gymnosperm phylogenetic diversification. In this study, we focus on African cycads, the genus Encephalartos a monophyletic gymnosperm group endemic to Africa. Combining multiple statistical tests, we provided evidence for a rate-variable cladogenesis in the genus over time with a sudden shift in diversification of a southern African lineage towards the end of Pliocene. This shift contrasts with the emerging pattern of adaptive radiation. Several factors including background extinction and ecological stasis could underlie the pattern observed. Furthermore, the period of the shift corresponds to a change of climatic regime into glaciation events globally but a periodic shift between wetter and drier conditions in Africa, suggesting a link between this unique environmental context and the acceleration in diversification of Encephalartos species on the African continent."

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