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Abstract Detail


Marx, Hannah [1], Tank, David C. [2].

Diversity dynamics of alpine flora using mega-phylogenetic approaches.

Plant species occurring on high-alpine summits are generally expected to persist due to adaptations to extreme selective forces caused by the coldest climatic conditions where angiosperm life thrives. Using species occurrence data collected from floristic surveys on 15 summits (2,791 - 4,102m above sea level) throughout the Ecrins National Park, France, along with existing molecular sequence data obtained from GenBank, we used a mega-phylogenetic approach to evaluate the phylogenetic structure of high-alpine plant species assemblages. We used two different null models and three nested species pools to address the importance of species-specific and species-neutral processes for driving diversity patterns. In addition, we examined environmental, historical, and neutral factors that might explain species coexistence. Although we found evidence for strong phylogenetic clustering within alpine summits, we were not able to reject models of species-neutral processes to explain patterns of floristic diversity within and between summits. Our results suggest that at the scale of our study, skyline island vegetation presents an emerging neutral phylogenetic structure. Quaternary glacial dynamics may have repeatedly shuffled the pool of high plant species adapted along altitudinal gradients within summits, homogenizing the flora between them.

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1 - University of Idaho, Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies, 875 Perimeter Dr. MS 3051, Moscow, ID, 83844-3051, USA
2 - University of Idaho, Department of Biological Sciences, 875 Perimeter Dr. MS 3051, Moscow, ID, 83844-3051, USA

phylogenetic community structure
phylogenetic diversity
Rocky Mountains

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 31, Cooley Awards II
Location: 201/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 31006
Abstract ID:745
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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