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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology

Naranjo, Andre [1], Majure, Lucas [2].

Understanding Vascular Plant Diversity in Complex Tropical Mountain Ranges: Initial Insights from Hispaniola.

Understanding biodiversity is critical for the proper conservation of an ecosystem that is experiencing extreme stress from global change during the modern age. Few other ecosystems are at such high risk of disappearing, especially due to logging and agricultural activities, as in the Massif de la Selle/Sierra de Bahoruco and Massif de la Hotte mountain range complexes in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Using members of Melastomataceae endemic to the region as a test case, and which are composed of several different clades with varying ages, we will calculate metrics such as observed patterns of taxon (OTU) richness (TR), weighted endemism of taxa (WE), phylogenetic diversity (PD), and phylogenetic endemism (PE). We will incorporate locality data with our Melastome phylogeny to understand (1) areas of neo-endemism (rare short-branched OTUs), (2) areas of paleo-endemism (rare long-branched OTUs), (3) centers of mixed endemism (mix of rare short and rare long branches), and (4) centers of super-endemism identified from CANAPE analyses. Our goal is to determine if there is an overrepresentation of range-restricted long or short branches in a selected location as compared to what would be expected if the same number of taxa had been selected at random from the tree. Identifying phylogenetic and endemism patterns across the vastly different ecosystems in this biodiversity hotspot will aid in our understanding of how these biodiverse forests formed. Likewise our results will highlight important areas of endemism and plants requiring conservation efforts to ensure their survival into the future, allowing conservationists to tailor management strategies specific to remaining habitats to ensure the functionality of what remains of these hyperdiverse montane ecosystems.

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1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, 1659 Museum Road, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, Department Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Rd. , Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

montane tropical forest
phylogenetic diversity

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: TB, Tropical Biology
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM(EDT)
Number: TB005
Abstract ID:231
Candidate for Awards:None

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