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Abstract Detail


Stubbs, Rebecca [1], Folk, Ryan [3], Soltis, Douglas [2], Cellinese, Nico [3].

Specialized adaptations and restricted niche preferences of cold-adapted saxifrages (Micranthes, Saxifragaceae).

Micranthes (Saxifragaceae), a group of small-flowered herbs, is an ideal clade for understanding evolutionary processes and unraveling current patterns of biodiversity. Micranthes comprises 70-85 species distributed in the Northern Hemisphere and provides a model for the study of plants occurring in Arctic and alpine ecosystems. Species of Micranthes occur in diverse habitats, are variable morphologically, and exhibit extensive ecological diversification. Over one-third of all Micranthes are cold adapted, in comparison to only 4% of all known vascular plant species. Many of the cold adapted Micranthes have relatively limited climatic ranges, and subsequently have potential to act as indicators of climate change. Additionally, within this clade there are varied adaptations to cold and dry habitats (i.e., leaf area, pubescence, habitat) and diverse traits related to reproduction and pollination (i.e., corolla shape and color) that are ideal for assessing the correlation between biogeographic history, adaptations, and rates of evolution. Finally, ecological niche models projected to the year 2070 estimate that the fundamental niche space for every Alaskan Micranthes will change, some dramatically, as a result of global warming. Therefore, an innovative approach tying together phylogenetics, biogeography, and niche modeling is being used to elucidate how Micranthes responded to fluctuations in the environment in the past and predict how this enigmatic clade will respond to climate change in the future. Insight gained for Micranthes will be broadly applicable to other alpine and Arctic plants.

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Related Links:
Micranthes research by Rebecca Stubbs at University of Florida

1 - University Of Florida, 1659 Museum Drive, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - University of Florida, Dept. of Biology, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, United States
3 - University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 41, Basal Rosids & Rosids I
Location: 101/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: 41001
Abstract ID:72
Candidate for Awards:None

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