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Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Kinser, Taliesin [1], Barve, Narayani [2], Whitehurst, Lauren [2], Allen, Julia [3], Guralnick, Robert [4], Soltis, Pamela S. [5], Soltis, Douglas E. [2].

Spatial phylogenetic diversity patterns in the highly diverse North American Coastal Plain flora.

The North American Coastal Plain (NACP) is a geological region that stretches along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and encompasses much of the Southeastern United States. This region is a Global Biodiversity Hotspot, home to nearly 5,500 native vascular plant taxa, 30% of which are endemic. Numerous temperate and tropical lineages have dispersed over time into the NACP, where the relative long-term climatic stability has allowed these lineages to persist and diversify, resulting in unique patterns of biodiversity.
Phylogenetic relationships are a critical component of biodiversity, as they represent information on evolutionary history and ecological processes. Spatial phylogenetics applies regional phylogenies and species distribution data to determine phylogenetic diversity metrics of local assemblages across a region. Such metrics demarcate areas with the most potential for lineage diversification and with the highest endemism, quantify differences in evolutionary patterns of different regions, and can be used with other spatial data to estimate what environmental or other drivers explain such patterns. These 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. To address this issue, we have gathered location data from herbaria databases to build species distribution models and have assembled sequence data from gene databanks, former research, and further sampling to build a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of the region. We have integrated these data to produce phylogenetic metrics of diversity in grid cells across the NACP to approach the following objectives: [1] Elucidate the distributional patterns of plant phylogenetic diversity across the NACP [2] Uncover hotspots of high endemism and clarify whether such endemism is due to recent or ongoing diversification (neo-endemism), refugial habitats harboring more ancient lineages (paleo-endemism), or both aspects (super endemism) [3] Untangle the environmental drivers, including fire, that shape the high endemism within the NACP.
Here, we present preliminary data for objective 1 produced from the species distribution models and phylogeny we have assembled for this region. These analyses set the groundwork for our continued efforts to achieve the other two objectives as well as for many more biodiversity objectives and analyses in this region. Assessing the distribution of evolutionary history and endemism along ecological gradients throughout this region is invaluable for maximizing conservation of diversity within this changing landscape.

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1 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Road, Dickinson Hall, University Of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
2 - Florida Museum of Natural History
3 - University of Nevada, Reno
4 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, 358 Dickinson Hall, University O, 358 Dickinson Hall, University Of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
5 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

spatial analysis
phylogenetic diversity
biodiversity hotspot.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BIHDI, Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization I
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM(EDT)
Number: BIHDI005
Abstract ID:407
Candidate for Awards:None

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