Proposed Symposium Title: ECOLOGICAL DRIVERS OF PALM SPECIATION
Abstract: Understanding the characteristics of species formation is central to our interpretation of current diversity patterns and our predictions of future variations. Species diverge as the result of isolation between populations when a physical barrier splits the distribution range of an ancestral species or vicariance; and through different processes like ecological divergence, hybridization and polyploidy. Ecological speciation is an intensely debated topic in evolutionary biology. Palms (Arecaceae) are a non-model group that has been subject to much ecological and phylogenetic research over the last decades. But only recently has information from phylogenetics, population genomics and ecology been integrated to study the mechanisms underpinning palms diversification. In this symposium we aim to discuss the role of ecological adaptation in palms speciation. This symposium will cover the latest findings of palms adaptation in diverse locations, from volcanic islands to seasonal savannas and mountain gradients. We will discuss the integrative approaches and methods needed to reveal the processes and mechanisms of palm ecological diversification.
Speaker 1: Rosane Garcia Collevati
Professor, Universidade Federal de Goias (Brazil)
How to become a hyperdominant and widespread species: the evolution Mauritia flexuosa
Speaker 2: Vincent Savolainen
Professor, Imperial College London (UK)
Can plant-fungal symbioses underpin plant diversity?
Speaker 3: Julissa Roncal
Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Climatic-based diversification of a hyperdominant species complex in Western Amazonia and endangered species in the Central Andes.
Topics (Up to three): Population Genetics
Topic 2: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Topic 3: Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics
Justification: This symposium might attract the interest of several attendants because it will focus on the synthesis and integration of different approaches and systems in the study of palm species diversification. Speakers will present the cutting-edge and integrative research programs that have allowed them to better understand not only the patterns of palm species diversity but also the mechanisms that promote the persistence of species. In addition, palms are a charismatic group that usually attracts the interest of botanists and the general public.
The speakers will cover a range of different study systems and palm species from lowland rainforest and savanna habitats (Prof. Collevatti) to remote islands (Prof. Savolainen) to mountain chains (Dr. Olivares). The focus and methods used in their research are also diverse –from phylogenetics to population genomics, and to plant-fungi interactions–. The speakers have a diverse background including two professors with different gender and one early career researcher. Two of the speakers are from different South American countries and one is European.