Abstract Detail


Ball, Laymon [1], Lagomarsino, Laura [2].

Ecological niche and pollination syndrome are correlated in the florally diverse Neotropical genus Hillia (Rubiaceae).

Hillia (Rubiaceae) is a widespread Neotropical genus of 24 shrubby epiphytic species lacking previous ecological or evolutionary research. It has highly diverse floral morphology, and species richness is highest in geologically complex areas (i.e. the Panamanian Isthmus of southern Central America and the northern Andes of South America). Additionally, species in this genus display a variety of pollination syndromes, including hummingbird, bat, and hawkmoth. These features make Hillia an ideal group to investigate the interactive roles of pollinator-plant relationships and geology in generating species diversity. In this study, I retrieved locality data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility database and used Maxent to generate ecological niche models for 16 species of Hillia that represent all pollination syndromes present in the genus. To assess niche similarity between species, I performed a principal component analysis across the 16 species using the average values for each of 20 environmental variables. Species with the same pollination syndrome clustered more closely together in the PCA, which suggests that both niche evolution and pollinator shift may have important roles in driving species diversity in Hillia. In the future, I plan to infer the first robust molecular phylogeny for the genus, which I will incorporate into additional biogeographical as well as diversification analyses. This will enable me to better understand the abiotic and biotic factors driving the evolution of this florally diverse group. 

1 - 825 Rittiner Drive, Baton Rouge, LA, 70806, United States
2 - Louisiana State University, Dept Of Biological Sciences, 103 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, United States

Pollination syndrome

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Biogeography Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PBG012
Abstract ID:732
Candidate for Awards:None

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