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Strangers in a strange land: key physiological innovations underpin radiation into hot, dry niches by the genus Seira (Collembola: Entomobryoidea)

posted on 31.01.2021, 07:27 by WING PUI AMY LIU
The Cape Floristic Region (CFR) in South Africa is well-known for its spectacular diversity of plants, many with limited distribution. But whether the kinds of environment-species interactions that have resulted in the diversification of plants are found in other animals, independent of plant associations, thus remains unknown. A genus, Seira, of the springtail groups, from the fynbos shrublands are able to maintain activity at much higher temperatures and drier conditions than their forest counterparts, and springtails globally. The diversity of Seira in the CFR therefore seems to be related to their unusual ability to tolerant hot and dry conditions.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Steven Loudon Chown

Additional supervisor 1

John Terblanche

Additional supervisor 2

Charlene Janion-Scheepers

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Biological Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type