Leveraging the use of herbarium collections in modern systematics—examples from Pteridology
Barker, Michael S. , Bogonovich, Marc .
Insights into the biogeography of North American ferns from Flora of North America data.
Although next-generation sequencing has recently facilitated numerous advancements in understanding plant genome evolution, bioinformatic analyses of the accumulated knowledge stored in herbaria has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of plant ecology. To better understand biogeographic patterns of fern ecology in North America, we constructed a GIS data set of all North American ferns using data from the Flora of North America project. Unlike other groups of North American plants, our analyses reveal four centers of species diversity. Two of these are at mid-latitudes and are spatially concordant with the glacial maximum, suggesting a possible role of glaciations in the generation of fern species richness. Combining these data with available genetic, phylogenetic, and ploidy data we find that there is no evidence of a latitudinal gradient of polyploid species in North America ferns, contrary to expectations. Unexpectedly, we find evidence of a strong correlation of chromosome number and temperature. Further, analyses of polyploid age and range overlaps with parental taxa suggest that older polyploids are farther from their parent ranges than recently formed polyploids. This result is in contrast to diploid sympatric speciation where there is no expected change in the range of related species over time. Overall, our research demonstrates how GIS approaches and distributional data located in herbaria can be used to address long standing questions in ecological and evolutionary biology.
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1 - University of British Columbia, The Biodiversity Research Centre, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
2 - Indiana University, Bloomington, Biology Department, 1001 E Third St, Jordan Hall rm 142, Bloomington, IN, 47405, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom C/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 11:40 AM