ID: 613 / 60

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: Arid and semi-arid regions are one of the least hospitable environments in the world. Covering about one third of the Earth’s non-ocean surface, these regions are characterised by a great geomorphological diversity and harbour a great variety of endemic flora. Furthermore, deserts and adjacent dryland ecosystems store up to thirty per cent of global terrestrial carbon stock and thus have immense potential for further carbon sequestration through improved land management. While all arid and semi-arid flora has to cope with extreme water scarcity and high temperatures, individual evolutionary histories of these floral elements are extremely diverse, as deserts arose under different environmental constraints, along different spatial and temporal scales and were occupied by differently preadapted floral assemblages. While research focus shifted dramatically in recent years towards pinpointing and understanding the ecophysiological features that allow desert plants to survive in such adverse conditions, the evolutionary framework that led to these features in the first place remains poorly understood. This knowledge gap prevents us from using the full potential of these features in our fight against food insecurity and mitigation strategies against long-term consequences of climate change. The main aims of this symposium are thus to promote the importance of organismic research, and to establish long-lasting multi-disciplinary research cooperations between organismic and non-organismic scientists, by facilitating comparative studies on evolutionary history of individual xerophytic floral elements to (1) infer potential spatial and temporal parallels in biological histories of arid and semi-arid floral elements across the globe, (2) identify temporal and spatial evolutionary constraints and regulations of xerophytic features (in)directly associated with successful establishment of particular taxa in arid or semi-arid habitats, (3) identify potential source and sink areas for arid or semi-arid floras, and (4) estimate frequencies of ecological transitions between mesic and arid or semi-arid habitats and with them associated (pre)adaptations.

Speaker 1: Name: Dr. Tania Hernández-Hernández Institutional Affiliation: Catedrática CONACYT asignada a LANGEBIO-UGA Cinvestav, Irapuato, Gto., México E-mail: thernandez@dbg.org Tentative Talk Title: Origin, Evolution and Niche Occupancy of Succulent Plant Lineages

Speaker 2: Name: Dr. rer. nat. Tim Böhnert Institutional Affiliation: Plant Systematics, Biogeography & Evolution Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn E-mail: tboehnert@uni-bonn.de Tentative Talk Title: Historical Biogeography and Macroevolution of the Atacama Desert Flora

Speaker 3: Name: Dr. rer. nat. Anže Žerdoner Čalasan Institutional Affiliation: Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants Faculty of Biology Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich E-mail: A.Zerdoner@lmu.de Tentative Talk Title: Comparative Historical Biogeography of Australian Eremaean Flora

Topics (Up to three): Biogeography / Phylogeography

Topic 2: Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics

Topic 3: Macroevolution

Justification: The symposium focuses on evolutionary history of flora, which is characterised by a number of ecophysiological features that might help to mitigate the pressing negative effects of climate change. It supports multi-disciplinary research and gives a unique opportunity to early career scientists and young principal investigators (all proposed speakers) to present their research. Furthermore, the symposium strives towards gender balance and inclusion of participants from countries with developing economy and with LGBTQ+ background (one of the proposed speakers is an aspiring female scientist from Mexico and one is a member of the LGBTQ+ community from the former Communist Bloc).