Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Transoceanic Dispersal in Sophora and other Genera

Abstract

THE existence of the same species in countries widely separated by oceans, an apparent exception to the hypothesis of single centres of creation, was explained by nineteenth century naturalists in two ways: by transoceanic dispersal or by continental extension. Darwin supported the first explanation, and argued against major continental extensions so recent as to be “within the period of existing species”1. Explanations by continental drift can be criticized on the same grounds2. But in most widely dispersed species we still lack detailed knowledge of the seed and its means of dispersal. Thus the possibility of long-distance dispersal by ocean currents of seed of certain species of Sophora (Papilionaceae) has long been discussed. Studies of S. tomentosa, a pan-tropic littoral species with buoyant seeds, show that this species must certainly be distributed in this way3–5; and since Darwin's time there has been speculation as to whether the close relation between the sophoras of New Zealand, southern Chile and Gough Island can be explained in the same way. We made the following observations on the problem on the Kermadec Islands (W. R. S.) and in New Zealand and southern Chile (E. J. G.).

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Darwin, C., On the Origin of Species, first ed. (Watts and Co., London, reprint, 1950).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Godley, E. J., Nature, 214, 74 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Schimper, A. F. W., Die Indo-malayische Strandflora (Gustav Fischer, Jena, 1891).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Guppy, H. B., Observations of a Naturalist in the Pacific, 2, Plant Dispersal (Macmillan and Co., London, 1906).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Guppy, H. B., Plants, Seeds and Currents in the West Indies and Azores (Williams and Norgate, London, 1917).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Hair, J. B., and Beuzenberg, E. J., NZ J. Bot., 4, 266 (1966).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Wace, N. M., and Dickson, J. H., Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., B, 249, 273 (1965).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Skottsberg, C., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 152, 429 (1960).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Skottsberg, C., in Essays in Geobotany (University of California Press, 1936).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Wyrtki, K., Div. of Fisheries and Oceanography. Tech. Paper No. 8, CSIRO, Australia (1960).

  11. 11

    Holdgate, M. W., Mountains in the Sea (Macmillan and Co., Ltd, London, 1958).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Oliver, W. R. B., Trans. NZ Inst., 42, 156 (1910).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Mason, R., Nature, 191, 408 (1961).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Cooper, R. C., Rec. Auck. Inst. and Mus., 6, No. 3, 171 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

SYKES, W., GODLEY, E. Transoceanic Dispersal in Sophora and other Genera. Nature 218, 495–496 (1968). https://doi.org/10.1038/218495a0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing