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Abstract Detail


Amarasinghe, Prabha [1], Cellinese, Nico [2].

Niches, distribution and natural history: towards understanding the drivers of diversification of Memecylon (Melastomataceae).

Memecylon is one of the few groups in Melastomataceae that include trees and shrubs, and it consists of 350-400 species. It is an excellent model for gaining new insights into the effects of climate change on tropical ecosystems due to the heterogeneity within the clade and its presence in a wide range of habitats in the Old World tropics while exhibiting a high regional endemism. Having conducted preliminary biogeographic analyses on a phylogeny constructed with DNA sequence data acquired from GenBank, it is clear that taxon sampling from Tropical Asia is critical to understand this enigmatic group. To enrich the available dataset with Asian taxa, we initiated our study using locality data from herbarium specimens and databases. Additionally, we applied ecological niche modeling to investigate ecological shifts in abiotic niche space among 11 taxa in Sri Lanka. Such shifts may have served as isolating mechanisms associated with speciation. We will integrate these results with biogeography and time-calibrated phylogeny to reconstruct ancestral niche space and to make inferences on the drivers of diversification of Memecylon and origin of endemic species.

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1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Department of Biology, 1659 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL , 32611, USA
2 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, United States

ecological niche models

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 14, Systematics I: Basal Dicots, Monocots & Rosids
Location: Sundance 1/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Number: 14016
Abstract ID:212
Candidate for Awards:None

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