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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Schwallier, Rachel [1], Raes, Niels [2], de Boer, Hugo J. [3], Vos, Rutger [2], van Vugt, Rogier R. [4], Gravendeel, Barbara [5].

Phylogenetic analysis of niche divergence reveals distinct evolutionary histories and climate change implications for tropical carnivorous plants.

In order to analyze the underpinnings of historical drivers of diversity and their contributions to current distributions and future roles in a changing climate, we studied the relationship between ecological similarity and phylogenetic signal in tropical pitcher plants. Ecological niches were reconstructed and plotted along a newly created multilocus molecular phylogeny. Phylogenetic signal was analyzed by comparisons of calculated phylogenetic relatedness with ecological niche divergence. Current and future predicted distributions were mapped of several species of plants with variable evolutionary histories and distributions. Highland and lowland species of the plants studied had distinct phylogenetic signals. Highland species had significantly lower molecular divergence as compared with the lowland species, yet niches with less overlap. When projected onto a future climate scenario, highland species lose a greater amount of preferred habitat compared to lowland species, and the majority of studied highland species will face an overall loss of suitable habitat. We conclude that distinct phylogenetic signals not only unravel differing evolutionary histories, but also show that the implications of species’ tolerances to future changing climate vary. Over the past million years, historical climate change shaped the differing evolution and environmental niches of highland and lowland tropical pitcher plant species. Rapid, recent radiations of the highland species are reflected in limited molecular divergence, which is in sharp contrast with the more gradually evolved and genetically distinct lowland species in our study. Our predictions for future distributions show that ongoing climate shifts will have deleterious effects on especially the highland species due to a narrower niche tolerance and dramatic disappearance of preferred habitat.

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1 - Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
2 - Naturalis Biodiversity Center
3 - Uppsala University, University of Oslo, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
4 - Hortus Botanicus of Leiden University
5 - Naturalis Biodiversity Center, University of Applied Sciences Leiden

climate change
ecological niche modeling
Molecular divergence
Phylogenetic signal.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 35
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 35012
Abstract ID:68
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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