ATYPICAL SUBSTRATES FOR PLANT AND LICHEN EVOLUTION II: ULTRAMAFIC SOILS
ID: 613 / 96
Proposed Symposium Title: ATYPICAL SUBSTRATES FOR PLANT AND LICHEN EVOLUTION II: ULTRAMAFIC SOILS
Abstract: Unusual soils support distinct floras that are rich in specialized and endemic plant species and give rise to most of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Ultramafic (serpentine) soils exemplify unusual soil systems; they are nutrient-poor, contain toxic concentrations of heavy metals, have low water-holding capacity, and are patchily distributed across space. Yet they also give rise to an incredible diversity of plant form and function, which has inspired a wide range of interdisciplinary research. This symposium brings together diverse researchers working across ecology, evolution, physiology, and geoscience to discuss new research avenues and to build an interdisciplinary research agenda for understanding these globally distributed ecosystems in a changing world.
Speaker 1: Catherine Hulshof
Virginia Commonwealth University
Ultramafic ecosystems as a macrosystem: Towards a global understanding of plant life on an atypical substrate
Speaker 2: Nishi Rajakaruna
California Polytechnic State University
Plant evolutionary processes on serpentine soils
Speaker 3: Robert Boyd
Serpentine plant-herbivore interactions
Topics (Up to three): Ecology and Plant Communities
Topic 2: Global Change Ecology
Topic 3: Conservation Biology
Justification: Ultramafic soils are globally distributed and, like other unusual soil types (such as gypsum), are among the world's biodiversity hotspots. Ultramafic ecosystems are important model systems for ecological and evolutionary research, and are underappreciated models of interdisciplinary research to understand global patterns of plant diversity and responses to global change. Our symposium will bring together experts and early career researchers from diverse disciplines to discuss new advances in the study of ultramafic plant communities including their global distribution, plant-insect interactions, and plant physiological and community level responses to climate change.