Abstract: During the last decades, advances on molecular techniques have allowed great steps towards the resolution of different plant phylogenies, and significant progress has been made in understanding the evolutionary processes and biogeographic history in different groups. However, little has been published on habitat adaptation in an evolutionary framework. Furthermore, habitat adaptation has been usually put on the spot when homoplasy has led to systematic misinterpretations. Nevertheless, it has also been shown that suitable adaptation to particular niches, especially under harsh conditions, can be a key evolutionary driver.
Bryophyta includes several groups that have been traditionally considered as systematically challenging because they have few morphological characters, which are frequently homoplasious. Many of these groups include pioneer colonizers that can grow under extreme environmental conditions. The use of integrative taxonomy techniques including molecular data is helping to better understand these groups. Even so, little is still known about the evolutionary drivers that have shaped bryophyte diversification. Recent studies suggest that adaptation to different habitats or niche conditions may have acted as one of these drivers, at least in some of the groups. The aim of this symposium is to provide a venue for discussion on the analysis of this hypothesis.
We consider that this could be a symposium of general interest for many IBC participants since it includes: i) the opportunity to deepen into bryophyte evolutionary mechanisms, a topic still not clarified; ii) an innovative perspective to analyze habitat influence; iii) exportable conclusions that could apply to other groups of plants; and iv) an example of the use of new technology and analytic methods.
Speaker 1: Lars Hedenäs
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden
Haplotypes variation in pleurocarpous mosses bound to niche adaptation.
Speaker 2: Juan Carlos Villarreal
Laval University, Canada
Analysis of possible evolution drivers in hornworts.
Speaker 3: Marta Nieto-Lugilde
Duke University, USA
Habitat-bound evolution in Sphagnum.
Topics (Up to three): Bryology
Topic 2: Ecology and Plant Communities
Topic 3: Macroevolution
Justification: This symposium falls within the topic "Systematics, phylogenetics, biogeography and evolution”. It addresses bryophyte evolution from a perspective that is of interest to understand diversification drivers in other plant groups. It bridges at least the following topics: Bryology, Phylogeography, Ecology and plant communities, and Macroevolution.
Potential speakers are two men and one woman, gender balance will be considered for the selection of other speakers. Speakers include three career stages: senior, established, and promising postdoctoral researcher. Geography has also been considered: we have selected one speaker from Panama (currently in Canada), one from Sweden, and one from Spain (currently in USA).