ID: 613 / 44

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: The five Mediterranean-type regions (MTRs) of the world are all significant botanical biodiversity hotspots. All face serious conservation challenges due to habitat loss and climate change, but the reasons for their high diversity and endemism remain an open question. Biodiversity patterns have typically been studied based on the geographic distribution of species richness and species traits, but such investigations do not account for evolutionary relationships. In contrast, the emerging field of “spatial phylogenetics” applies a phylogenetic approach to the evaluation of diversity and endemism patterns of whole biotas by incorporating novel metrics and methods (Relative Phylogenetic Diversity, RPD; Relative Phylogenetic Endemism, RPE; Categorical Analysis of Neo- And Paleo-Endemism, CANAPE; and phylogenetic range-weighted turnover, PhyloRWT). This approach is made possible by recent technical advances such as digitization of collections, broad availability of DNA sequences in public databases, and increasing efficiency of phylogenetic analyses. Spatial phylogenetics enables mapping and characterization of diversity and endemism patterns, as well as hypothesis testing based on spatial randomization, leading to insights on ecological, evolutionary, and biogeographic processes that have shaped these patterns. Furthermore, these methods can enhance conservation planning by identifying complementary areas of biodiversity representing unique evolutionary histories. This symposium will focus on the application of spatial phylogenetic approaches to floras of the five Mediterranean-type regions of the world: Mediterranean Basin, California, southwestern Australia, central Chile, and Cape Region of South Africa. We will also use state-of-the-art methodologies to compare these floras by integrating patterns of phylogenetic diversity and endemism with ecological traits, environmental variables, and conservation goals. The eventual goal is a comparative worldwide synthesis of evolutionary diversity and endemism patterns of Mediterranean-type plants. The lessons learnt from our approach applied to MTRs will help analyze other floras of the world such as those of tropical regions, deserts and oceanic islands, among others.

Speaker 1: Name: Israel Borokini Institutional affiliation: University of California, Berkeley E-mail: Tentative title: The role of traits in community assemblages across Mediterranean-type biomes

Speaker 2: Name: Andrew H. Thornhill Institutional affiliation: University of New England E-mail: Tentative title: A world angiosperm-genus spatial phylogenetic analysis

Speaker 3: Name: Mario Fernández-Mazuecos Institutional affiliation: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid E-mail: Tentative title: Patterns of phylogenetic diversity and endemism of the Iberian vascular flora

Topics (Up to three): Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics

Topic 2: Biogeography / Phylogeography

Topic 3: Conservation Biology

Justification: Spatial phylogenetics is an emerging field that bridges multiple disciplines (phylogenetics, systematics, floristics, biogeography, ecology, macroevolution and conservation) to advance understanding of geographical patterns of biodiversity. This symposium is part of an ongoing international initiative to move this field forward, started by Prof. Brent Mishler (University of California, Berkeley). Here we will advance the field through novel comparative approaches encompassing the five Mediterranean-type regions of the world. We will also bring together a diverse ensemble of researchers, as shown by proposed organizers and speakers of different origins (Chile, Nigeria, Australia, Spain), ethnicities, genders and career stages.