Abstract Detail



Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Kinser, Taliesin [1], Soltis, Pamela [2], Soltis, Douglas [3].

Regional Patterns of Phylogenetic Diversity across a Biodiversity Hotspot (North American Coastal Plain).

The North American Coastal Plain (NACP) is a geological region and floristic province that stretches along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and encompasses much of the Southeastern United States. This region was recently recognized as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot and is home to nearly 5,500 native vascular plant taxa, 30% of which are endemic. During past climate changes, numerous lineages from tropical, arid, and temperate climates dispersed into the NACP, where the relative long-term climatic stability of the region has allowed these lineages to persist and diversify. This rich history, along with distinctive characteristics of the NACP such as diverse edaphic conditions and fire regimes, have resulted in unique patterns of biodiversity, many of which we are only beginning to understand.  
Phylogenetic relationships are a critical component of biodiversity, as they represent information on evolutionary history and ecological processes. Assessing phylogenetic diversity metrics across a landscape has been used to determine areas with the most potential for lineage diversification, differences in evolutionary patterns of different regions, the characteristics of endemism hotspots that have driven high endemism, and how past events or current environmental conditions have determined which lineages exist in which areas. Such approaches are possible with the tremendous collection and databases available from herbaria.
While the flora of the NACP is well documented in herbaria and known for its diversity, human activity has altered most habitats, and regional biodiversity patterns and the underlying drivers shaping them remain poorly understood. Therefore, we propose to use specimens and location data from herbaria to build a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of the region and produce phylogenetic metrics of diversity in grid cells across the NACP to address the following questions: [1] How are patterns of plant phylogenetic diversity distributed across the NACP? [2] What environmental processes have driven the high endemism within the NACP, and how old are endemic lineages? [3] How may anthropogenic forces continue affecting plant diversity patterns?  
Here, I present initial findings on broad patterns of the distribution of phylogenetic diversity throughout the NACP using the first assembled phylogeny of this region’s flora. Further work will involve increasing taxon sampling, improving location information, and applying additional phylogenetic analyses of diversity.
Approaching the above questions with the proposed techniques can aid in assessing the distribution of evolutionary history and endemism along ecological gradients throughout this region to maximize conservation of diversity in a changing landscape.  


1 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Road, Dickinson Hall, University Of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
2 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Po Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

Keywords:
phylogenetic diversity
north american coastal plain
southeastern USA
Herbaria databases
biodiversity hotspot.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PBI008
Abstract ID:784
Candidate for Awards:None


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