Abstract Detail


Melton, Anthony [1], Folk, Ryan [1], Grady, CJ [2], Stewart, Aimee [2], Beach , James (Jim) [2], Soltis, Pamela [1], Soltis, Douglas [1].

Does Ecology or Biogeography Better Explain the Eastern Asia – Eastern North America Species Richness Anomaly?

            Species richness anomalies are often found along environmental or latitudinal gradients. One species richness anomaly of great interest is that of the eastern Asia – eastern North America (EA-ENA) floristic disjunction. In addition to over 60 genera of seed plants, many other groups of organisms, from rodents to lichens, exhibit this disjunction. Many of the seed plant clades that occur across the disjunction are more species-rich in EA than ENA, with EA having approximately 1.6 times as many species of seed plants as ENA. The EA and ENA clades typically occupy similar habitats, although the topography and climate of EA are much more heterogeneous than in ENA. This study aims to test the alternative hypotheses that either macroecology or biogeographic processes have contributed to the EA-ENA species richness anomaly. Analyses were conducted for Aesculus, Castanea, and Cercis. Occurrence data and climate data were downloaded from public databases for Ecological Niche Model (ENM) development. Maximum likelihood phylogenies were reconstructed using public data from GenBank. Age-overlap correlation tests were conducted for occurrence, distribution, and ecological data using ENMTools. Results to date suggest that these clades do not exhibit phylogenetic niche conservatism, even though the niches may be highly similar, and that speciation occurred in allopatry. Biogeographic hypotheses are currently being tested using meta-community phylogenetic analyses via the BiotaPhy platform. This work will help elucidate whether macroecological or biogeographic processes have contributed to the species richness patterns we see today.

1 - Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA
2 - University of Kansas, Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS, 66045

ecological niche modelling
Niche Conservatism

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:714
Candidate for Awards:None

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