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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Perez, Erik [1], Kwon, Youl [2], Marchant, D. Blaine [3], Soltis, Douglas E. [4], Soltis, Pamela S. [5].

Ecological Niche Models and Species Distributions in Rhexia (Melastomataceae).

The genus Rhexia (Melastomataceae) comprises 11 species endemic to the southeastern United States. Species of Rhexia exhibit partially overlapping distributions, and some species are sympatric, but the extent to which habitats overlap is unknown. In this project, we used bioclimatic variables to model species distributions and ecological niches for species of Rhexia and investigated patterns of niche divergence across a phylogeny based on morphological and molecular data (Ionta et al., 2007). Ecological studies are lacking for Rhexia, and this project is the first to address the role of ecological divergence in the genus. We used locality information gathered from numerous data aggregators (iDigBio, GBIF) to create a niche model for each species of Rhexia. The niche models for all species showed distributions in the southeastern United States, but they differed in the breadth of suitable habitat. For example, R. salicifolia and R. parviflora had restricted models confined to the Florida panhandle and Louisiana coastal area. In contrast, the model for the most broadly distributed species, R. virginica, extends from Louisiana to Maryland and its most suitable habitat can be found in more northern states. Several species of Rhexia are also hypothesized to be hybrids or allopolyploids.  For example, R. nashii, a putative allopolyploid (Ionta et al., 2007), shares suitable habitat with both of its hypothesized parents, R. mariana and R. virginica, but with greater similarity to that of R. mariana. We propose that slight variations in environmental tolerances may have contributed to species divergence in Rhexia.

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1 - University of Florida, Biology, 876 Newell Dr, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - University of Florida, Biology, 333 University VLG APT#4, Gainesville, FL, 32603, USA
3 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
4 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, United States
5 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964

Ecological Niche Model
species distribution
Niche Divergence.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT018
Abstract ID:767
Candidate for Awards:None

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