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Abstract Detail


Merritt, Ben [1], Yadav, Sunita [2], Culley, Theresa M [3], Whitsell, Theo [4], Kephart, Susan R [5].

Can we be defined by our niche? Using ecological niche modeling to differentiate taxa of the wild hyacinth (Camassia spp.) in the eastern United States.

Species are deeply rooted within their environments such that it is possible to use biotic and abiotic variables to describe habitat suitability and potentially even differentiate species according to their unique habitat types. The plant genus Camassia is a taxonomically complex group that provides an excellent opportunity to test the use of ecological niche modeling (ENM) in differentiating closely related species. This genus consists of a number of taxa found across North America that inhabit diverse environments, ranging from open prairies to wet fields to shaded forests. In this study a GIS-based approach was utilized to compare the environmental niche distributions of three different taxa within the Camassia genus: C. angusta, C. scilloides, and a putative new ‘glade’ taxon found in the southern glades of the eastern United States. We took three approaches utilizing ENMs to differentiate taxa, including (1) a principle component analysis to parse out each species according to the unique attributes of each environmental variable used in the analysis; (2) a Niche Identity test to statistically test for differences in ecological niche distributions between each taxon; and (3) ensembles of small models (ESMs) to characterize the distribution of each species qualitatively. Here we present preliminary results from these approaches that suggest that each of these taxa are different according to ecological niche modeling. These results are the first of a larger project that includes genetic and morphological analyses to better characterize species in the complex Camassia genus, through integrative taxonomy.

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1 - University of Cincinnati, Department of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, USA
2 - University Of Cincinnati, Dept. Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221, USA
3 - University Of Cincinnati, Department Of Biological Sciences, 614 Rieveschl Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0006, USA
4 - Arkansas National Heritage Commission, Arkansas Heritage Program, 1100 North Street, Little Rock, AR, 72201, USA
5 - WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY, Department Of Biology, SALEM, OR, 97301, USA

ecological niche modeling (ENM)
integrative taxonomy
ensembles of small models (ESM)

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 13, Biogeography
Location: Sundance 3/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:15 PM
Number: 13014
Abstract ID:537
Candidate for Awards:None

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