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Abstract Detail


Hodel, Richard G [1], Soltis, Pamela  S. [2], Soltis, Douglas E [3].

Projecting the potential future distributions of three mangrove species in Florida and beyond using ecological niche modeling.

Mangroves are coastal trees occurring throughout the tropics and in portions of the subtropics. The coastal habitats they occupy are harsh; high salinity, frequent disturbances, and anoxic conditions surrounding roots are typical of the mangrove environment. Mangroves are characterized by a suite of traits that enable them to survive in these extreme conditions, including salt avoidance, tolerance, and/or sequestration, root adaptations to increase stability and allow access to oxygen, and some type of vivipary that promotes propagule dispersal. There are three species of mangroves native to the Neotropics: red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Rhizophoraceae), black mangroves (Avicennia germinans, Acanthaceae), and white mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa, Combretaceae). Each species has a different ability to tolerate salinity and flooding. Mangroves have been negatively impacted by human activities, including increased shipping, coastal development, and sea level changes associated with anthropogenic climate change. In the last century, significant portions of mangrove forest have been lost worldwide, which can have far-reaching impacts. Mangroves provide a variety of ecosystem services, including water filtration, shoreline stabilization, and habitat for fish, birds, and marine invertebrates. It is important to use all available data and resources to protect mangrove forests. Several modeling approaches have been used to predict the impact of climate change on mangroves, ranging from ecological models to land cover analyses. Previous studies have reported that mangroves are projected to move poleward in certain areas of Florida, possibly invading grass-dominated salt marshes. However, these older modeling approaches could only make relatively coarse predictions, due to low spatial resolution, not being able to distinguish between the three species of mangroves, or being applied to a small geographical area. The recent increase in availability of digitized herbarium specimens and the development of ecological niche modeling techniques have improved our ability to project the potential future distributions of species. In this study, we project the potential future distributions of red, black, and white mangroves in Florida and beyond using ecological niche modeling. These fine-scale, high-resolution projections will be valuable for prioritizing conservation measures and for quantifying key differences between the three species’ habitats. Additionally, the ecological niche modeling results can be used to generate phylogeographic hypotheses that can be tested using genetic data—which we are currently collecting from samples obtained from locations across the Caribbean.

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1 - 308A NW 2nd St, Gainesville, FL, 32601, USA
2 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964
3 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32605, USA

climate change
ecological niche modeling
Coastal Plants.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 6, Ecology Section: Population Biology
Location: 201/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 6003
Abstract ID:637
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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