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Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Whitehurst, Lauren [1], Jantzen, Johanna [2], Kinser, Taliesin [3], Soltis, Pamela S. [4], Soltis, Douglas E. [5].

Using digitized herbarium specimens to identify evolutionarily diverse hotspots in Florida.

Hosting over ~4,200 species of vascular plants, Florida overlaps two globally recognized biodiversity hotspots, the North American Coastal Plain (NACP) and the Caribbean Islands. The complex geological formation of Florida contributed to the variety of specialized ecosystems present today, with ecoregions ranging from temperate to subtropical. Unfortunately, habitat destruction and climate change pose serious threats to the maintenance of this floristic diversity. Efforts to locate biodiversity hotspots for conservation have typically relied on metrics like Species Richness (SR), which do not consider the evolutionary history of a community. The massive amount of digitized herbarium specimen records available through data aggregators like iDigBio and SERNEC, allow the aggregation of records representing species in the vascular flora of Florida. The goal of my research is to locate current concentrations of significant biodiversity, using a phylogeny of the vascular plants of Florida. Instead of using SR, I plan to use spatial phylogenetic methods that incorporate the evolutionary history of the flora. The overlap between currently conserved land in Florida and areas of significantly high Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) will be assessed. Creating a phylogeny of ~90% of the flora of Florida will provide a portion of analyses that will provide a more thorough understanding of the spatial phylogenetic diversity patterns in Florida. Through connecting with non-profit organizations, land managers, and private landowners, these results will be used for guidance to develop land management plans that better preserve the evolutionary hotspots of Florida. Here we present results from a phylogeny representing ~90% of the vascular plants of Florida. This phylogeny can be used to analyze spatial phylogenetic patterns in Florida and make recommendations for conservation efforts and land managers for better conservation of Florida's evolutionary biodiversity hotspots.

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1 - Florida Museum of Natural History
2 - University Of Florida, Biology, Dickinson Hall, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Road, Dickinson Hall, University Of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
4 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
5 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Laboratory of Molecular Systematics & Evolutionary Genetics, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1BI010
Abstract ID:1084
Candidate for Awards:None

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