Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Research Collecting Is More Important Than Ever—Ushering in a Collecting Renaissance

Majure, Lucas [1].

The biodiversity crisis, plant exploration, and species discovery in the Greater Antilles: the roles of floristics, phylogenetics and monographic studies .

The Greater Antilles are renowned for their tremendous plant species diversity and high levels of endemism, putting them within the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world. This area also is under significant anthropogenic pressure, which has resulted in the loss of an enormous portion of native forest and species loss, adding to the ongoing, worldwide biodiversity crisis. Although the islands of the Greater Antilles have been studied botanically for nearly 500 years, there is still much needed research to be carried out there, and an increased focus on fieldwork through floristics and systematics studies is further illuminating previously undiscovered diversity across the islands. I will use the Cactaceae, Melastomataceae and Simaroubaceae as examples to highlight recent work carried out, principally on the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, and which has led to an increased understanding of the biodiversity and biogeographic history of native forests on the islands. I will highlight the importance of phylogenetic and monographic studies in understanding and deciphering this diversity and will show how floristic work, which has diminished tremendously over the past several decades in most places, can have a huge impact on our understanding of regional floras and consequently to global biodiversity patterns, phylogenetic relationships, biogeography, conservation and innumerable downstream areas of study, which are all specimen-based. As will be necessary globally, to fully understand biodiversity across the planet while trying to outpace the continued loss of species through habitat loss and other man mediated actions, especially in highly diverse areas, increased collecting efforts and systematic studies in those areas are an imperative. 

1 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, 1659 Museum Rd. , Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

Greater Antilles

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY2, Biodiversity Research Collecting Is More Important Than Ever—Ushering in a Collecting Renaissance
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: SY2004
Abstract ID:261
Candidate for Awards:None

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