The extraordinary species richness and endemism of the Indo-AustralianArchipelago (IAA) exists in one of the most geologically dynamic regions ofthe planet. The provenance of its biota has been debated, particularly in thearea known asWallacea. Application of molecular genetic approaches and abetter understanding of the region’s complex geology have stimulated muchrecent biogeographic work in the IAA. We review molecular phylogeneticand phylogeographic studies in light of current geological evidence. Presentdistribution patterns of species have been shaped largely by pre-Pleistocenedispersal and vicariance events, whereas more recent changes in the connectivityof islands within the Archipelago have influenced the partitioning ofintraspecific variation. Many genetic studies have uncovered cryptic specieswith restricted distributions. We discuss the conservation significance ofthe region and highlight the need for cross-taxon comparative studies usingnewly developed analytical approaches well suited to the challenges ofhistorical inference in this region
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