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Abstract Detail

Geology and Plant Life: the growing legacy of Arthur Kruckeberg

Moore, Michael J. [1], Muller, Clare [2], Drenovsky, Rebecca [2], Heiden, Nathaniel [2], Feder, Zoë [1], Tiley, Helene [1], Douglas, Norman [3], Flores Olvera, Hilda [4], Ochoterena, Helga [4], Montserrat, Gabriel [5], Palacio, Sara [6].

Gypsum biomineralization: a key mechanism explaining the historical assembly of gypsum plant communities worldwide?

Gypsum endemic plant communities represent an excellent opportunity to investigate soils as a driving force in plant evolution and ecology, offering key insights into such fundamental biological processes as adaptation, the formation of new species, and the factors controlling plant community composition. Gypsum exposures occur worldwide in arid and semiarid ecosystems and are home to rich endemic floras that have evolved independently on five continents. Ongoing phylogenetic and ecological studies demonstrate that gypsum endemics in Spain and North America fall into two overall categories: geographically widespread endemic species that accumulate gypsum crystals within their leaves (presumably as a mechanism to sequester excess sulfur and calcium), and highly local endemic species that do not. Furthermore, recent work has shown that the nearest relatives of widespread gypsum endemic species often accumulate gypsum, regardless of the substrate they grow on. These results suggest that the ability to accumulate gypsum may have existed in the ancestors of many of today’s dominant gypsum endemic plants. Consequently, we hypothesize that gypsum accumulation may be an important mechanism that has allowed certain groups of plants to colonize and eventually dominate gypsum communities.

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Related Links:
GYPNET: A network of researchers working on gypsum ecosystems
The origin and evolution of Chihuahuan Desert gypsum endemic plants

1 - Oberlin College, Department of Biology, 119 Woodland St., Oberlin, OH, 44074, USA
2 - John Carroll University, Biology Department, 1 John Carroll Blvd, University Heights, OH, 44118, USA
3 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 618A Carr Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
4 - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Instituto de Biologia, 3er. Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico, DF, 04510, Mexico
5 - Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia, Avda. Montaņa 1005, Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 50059, Spain
6 - Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia, Av. Nuestra Seņora de la Victoria, 16, Jaca, Huesca, 22700, Spain

Chihuahuan Desert
New Mexico
edaphic endemism.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY4, Geology and plant life: the growing legacy of Arthur Kruckeberg
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY4004
Abstract ID:171
Candidate for Awards:None

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