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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology

Xavier, Aleena [1], Gowda, Vinita [2].

Investigating environmental niche characteristics of a few species complexes within the genus Hedychium (Zingiberaceae).

Hedychium (Zingiberaceae) is an Asian paleotropical genus of perennial rhizomatous herbs that prefer shady and moist habitat. The low interspecific and high intraspecific morphological variations within these plants have resulted in morphologically ambiguous species complexes. We have identified three major species complexes in this genus: the Coccineum complex (consists of at least seven taxonomic species), the Coronarium complex (consists of at least nine taxonomic species) and the Spicatum complex (consists of at least seven taxonomic species and two putative hybrid forms), each named after the widespread species of the respective complex. Here, we explore the climatic niche characteristics of these species complexes, namely niche overlap, niche optima, and niche breadth. We first collected comprehensive occurrence records for these species from herbaria, online databases and fresh field collection records. Based on field experiments we observed that the species complexes were a result of either hybridization events or local adaptations. We, therefore, hypothesized that the climatic niche of members within each of the complexes would be a subset of the niche of the widespread species. We used PCA- based dimensionality reduction method on 19 bioclimatic variables (resolution of 1 km2) and elevation followed by kernel smoothing to define the climatic niche of the species and we then used Schoener’s D to quantify the niche overlap. Our results suggest that the climatic niche of members of the complex is indeed a subset of the niche of the widespread species in most of the cases and there is a significant niche overlap (p-value < 0.05 for the niche similarity test) between them. Interestingly, we observed a difference in the niche optima between different members in all three complexes suggesting a stable local co-existence of the species and the widespread species did not necessarily always have a broader environmental niche. In conclusion, even though there is a niche overlap between taxa from the same species complex, the individual species differed in their niche breadth and position, suggesting the role of habitat filtering in species evolution.

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1 - IISER Bhopal, Department Of Biological Sciences, Lab No 303, Department Of Biological Sciences, AB-3, IISER Bhopal, Bhopal Bypass Road, Bhopal, MP, 462066, India
2 - IISER Bhopal, Room 223, AB3, Dept. Of Biological Sciences,, IISER- Bhopal, Bhopal Bypass Road, Bhauri,, Bhopal, MP, 462066, India

Bioclimatic niche
species complex
niche evolution.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: TB, Tropical Biology
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM(EDT)
Number: TB003
Abstract ID:1076
Candidate for Awards:None

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