Abstract Detail

Plant life in Neotropical rocky outcrops

Jantzen, Johanna [1], de Souza Cortez, Maria Beatriz [2], Nogales da Costa Vasconcelos, Thais [3], Soltis, Douglas [4], Soltis, Pamela [5].

Plant life in Neotropical Rocky Outcrops.

Neotropical rocky outcrops, including inselbergs, the campos rupestres of Brazil, and the tepuis of the Guyana Shield, are characterized by isolation in the landscape, harsh environmental conditions, and distinctive vegetation. Inselbergs are often dome-shaped isolated mountains concentrated in southeastern Brazil, tepuis are table-top mountains interspersed with lowland rainforest in the Amazon basin, while campos rupestres are patches of rocky outcrops and grasslands forming habitat islands within the Cerrado, caatinga and Mata Atlantica of Brazil. Created by the erosion of old geological formations, these landscape features are often recognized for their high levels of species diversity and endemism, due in part to the island-like nature of these habitats and in part to the diversity of microhabitats. Although these ecoregions have been historically understudied, especially compared to the Amazon rainforest and the Andes, significant progress has recently been made in understanding the ecology, evolution, and diversity of the flora within these formations. These advances come in conjunction with an increase in anthropogenic pressures that threaten these habitats in several Latin American countries, such as mining, fire, agricultural activities, tourism, extraction and highway construction. Combining perspectives from different research fields in plant biology is therefore timely and of the utmost necessity to improve conservation actions in Neotropical rocky outcrops. This colloquium features talks on a variety of topics with a common theme of plant diversity in these physiologically demanding and disjunct habitats, including systematics of diverse clades, identification of drivers of prolific species diversification, biogeography of historical connections between isolated habitats, floristics of endemic-rich regions, and physiology and adaptive traits related to life in these extreme habitats. The combination of talks on these themes will stimulate interdisciplinary debate on how to advance our knowledge on these natural laboratories for studies of ecology and evolution of plants and how to plan effective conservation policies that take into account the biological peculiarities of plant life in these often neglected areas. 

1 - University Of Florida, Biology, Dickinson Hall, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
2 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History–Dickinson Hall, 1659 Museum Road, Room 357, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - University of Arkansas
4 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
5 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Po Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States

Plant diversity

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL08, Plant life in Neotropical rocky outcrops
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Friday, July 31st, 2020
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: COL08SUM
Abstract ID:331
Candidate for Awards:None

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