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Abstract Detail

Phylogenetic approaches to understanding biodiversity and endemism

Mishler, Brent D. [1], Thornhill, Andrew [2], Knerr, Nunzio [3], Gonzalez-Orozco, Carlos [4], Laffan, Shawn [5], Miller, Joseph [6].

Spatial phylogenetics: methods for exploring phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism on the landscape, with examples from Acacia.

Biodiversity is usually measured by examining changes in the number of species across a region to identify areas of particularly high species diversity and endemism. Beta-diversity, or turn-over on the landscape, is likewise usually measured by comparing proportions of species shared among subareas. However, investigations based on species distributions alone miss the full richness of analyses that can result from taking a phylogenetic approach. Our research group is applying a novel suite of phylogenetic tools including two new metrics, Relative Phylogenetic Diversity and Relative Phylogenetic Endemism, and new methods called Categorical Analysis of Neo- And Paleo-Endemism (CANAPE), Range Weighted Branch Length Difference (RWiBaLD), and phylogenetic range-weighted turnover (PhyloRWT). These methods are rank-free since it does not matter what taxonomic levels the terminals represent, as long as they are monophyletic and their geographic distribution can be characterized, and are thus relatively robust to lumping and splitting decisions by taxonomists. CANAPE searches for centers of endemism, and classifies them by the branch lengths of the rare taxa within them, allowing, for the first time, a clear, quantitative distinction between centers of neo- and paleo-endemism across an area. RWiBaLD complements CANAPE and makes a close-up examination of the statistical distribution of branch lengths within a single subarea, allowing a clear understanding of which braches on the tree are responsible for the patterns seen in CANAPE. Both CANAPE and RWiBaLD are tested statistically with the same spatial randomization of terminal taxa on the map. PhyloRWT examines turnover in amount of the tree shared among subareas, while emphasizing the branches that are range-restricted. It serves as a particularly useful measure of phylobetadiversity for purposes of understanding changes in phylogenetic assemblages across the landscape. PhyloRWT can be applied for a variety of purposes including bioregionalization, ecological studies of causes for beta-diversity, and complementarity analyses for applied conservation studies. Understanding such patterns of biodiversity on the landscape is important for conservation planning, given the need to prioritize efforts in the face of rapid habitat loss and human-induced climate change. These new phylogenetic methods allow assessments of protected lands that are not limited by reliance on species distribution alone and can identify complementary areas of biodiversity that have unique evolutionary histories in need of conservation. Applications of each of these methods will be illustrated using the large genus Acacia across the continent of Australia.

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1 - University Of California, Berkeley, Dept Of Integrative Biology, 1001 Valley Life Science Building # 2465, Berkeley, CA, 94720-2465, USA
2 - University of California, Berkeley, University and Jepson Herbaria, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building # 2465 , Berkeley, CA, 94720-2465, USA
3 - CSIRO Plant Industry, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
4 - University of Canberra, Institute for Applied Ecology and Collaborative Research Network for Murray-Darling Basin Futures, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
5 - University of New South Wales, Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia
6 - National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, 4201 Wilson Ave, Arlington, VA, 22204, USA, 703-292-7214

phylogenetic diversity
phylogenetic endemism

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY17
Location: Salon 15/16/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: SY17006
Abstract ID:649
Candidate for Awards:None

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