Abstract Detail

Biodiversity synthesis: Linking large phylogenies with species traits and ecologies.

Suissa, Jacob [1], Sundue, Michael [2], Testo, Weston [3].

Fronds in high places: large-scale integrative analyses explain global patterns of fern diversity.

Tropical mountains harbor a disproportionate number of species compared to surrounding lowlands and temperate regions but understanding why remains a challenge. Here, we use the largest dataset of global fern diversity ever assembled, including more than 8,000 species and over 800,000 georeferenced occurrence points to understand these patterns. We integrate phylogenetic, ecological, climatic, and distribution data to demonstrate that global patterns of species diversity, endemism, and lineage diversification in ferns can largely be explained by the availability of environmental niche space, especially in association with tropical montane systems. We demonstrate that hotspots of species richness and endemism are universally characterized by disproportionate climatic variation relative to their geographic area, and total fern species richness scales linearly with available climate space at regional and global scales.  In this paper, we are able to contextualize the fern radiation by integrating ecological, geographic, and climatic data to understand what factors contribute to this group’s modern evolutionary success. Importantly, we demonstrate that extant fern diversity (~10,000 species) is due not only to recent, rapid diversification events in young mountain systems, but also long-term persistence of old lineages in climatically stable regions.

1 - Harvard University, 1300 Centre St, 1300 Centre St, Boston, MA, 02131, United States
2 - The Pringle Herbarium, 111 Jeffords Hall, 63 Carrigan Dr., Burlington, VT, 05405, United States
3 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, 876 Newell Drive, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL01, Biodiversity synthesis: Linking large phylogenies with species traits and ecologies
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: COL01006
Abstract ID:434
Candidate for Awards:None

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