PLANT DIVERSITY, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND EVOLUTION IN THE TROPICS FOR CONSERVATION, RESTORATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE
ID: 613 / 155
Proposed Symposium Title: PLANT DIVERSITY, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND EVOLUTION IN THE TROPICS FOR CONSERVATION, RESTORATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE
Abstract: Tropical biomes play a key role in protecting the global climate and also as centres of biodiversity. They are home to important natural resources for local indigenous communities and are centres of origin of economically important plants that now underpin agriculture. In recent years, tropical biomes have been affected by rapid conversion as a result of land use for intensive agriculture. Harnessing the full potential of tropical plants requires knowledge of their taxonomy, distribution, biology and evolution, as well as of the domestication processes that have taken place, and which are part of the heritage of indigenous communities.
This symposium will focus on fundamental knowledge in diversity, biogeography and evolution of tropical biomes to contribute to conservation, restoration and sustainable use of tropical natural resources as well as climate change mitigation. The talks will communicate the results of research projects related to plant diversity, evolution, biogeography, phylogeography, and ecological adaptation. We will prioritise projects that gather empirical data of tropical plants, including diversity measures from networks of ecological monitoring plots, cultivated species and crop wild relatives, with special focus on response to climate change and plant-human interactions. This will include studies tracing the domestication events within tropical plants, the genomic basis of ecological adaptation, and the interaction of indigenous peoples with the rainforest.
The symposium has a global scope, both because of the geographic origin of the speakers and because the questions raised relate to the tropics globally. The talks will cover: the distribution of plant diversity across biomes; the identification of the closest relatives of cultivated species and their potential for plant breeding; and the role of indigenous communities in the domestication of plant varieties. These topics will be brought together to address themes of conservation, restoration and sustainable use of tropical vegetation in times of environmental change.
Speaker 1: Name: Juan Carlos Copete Maturana
Affiliation: Dept. of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Tentative Talk Title: The contribution of Indigenous and local people to cataloging life on Earth
Speaker 2: Name: Karina Banda R (and SynTreeSys network)
Affiliation: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Leipzig, Germany
Tentative Talk Title: Understanding patterns of biogeography and threat of tree species diversity across the biomes of Latin America
Speaker 3: Name: Olivier J Hardy
Affiliation: Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Tentative Talk Title: Plant biodiversity patterns at multiple scales in tropical Africa
Topics (Up to three): Biogeography / Phylogeography
Topic 2: Agroforestry Systems
Topic 3: Ethnobotany
Justification: The broad scope of the invited talks, representing teams of outstanding scientific quality, will attract a global audience. All tropical biomes of across South America, Africa, and SE Asia will be covered, not only rainforests. We will not neglect other biomes (savanna, dry forest) of crucial environmental value. The questions raised, and the methodologies used, bridge several main topics, including Bio/phylogeography, Conservation, Ethnobotany, Agroforestry, Crop Wild Relatives, Ecology, and Taxonomy. The speakers include an Afro-Colombian Ph.D. student, a Latin-American early-career researcher, and a consolidated European Senior researcher. We will make an effort to keep this diversity balance in the future.