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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Massana, Kathryn [1].

Systematic and biogeographical analysis of a species rich group in the Caribbean biodiversity hotspot.

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean biodiversity hotspot, which is one of the five leading biodiversity hotspots worldwide, as it holds 2.3 percent of the endemic plants in the world, and only accounts for 0.0016 percent of the Earth's land surface (Myers 2000). This island also has one of the highest population densities in the world and it also has the highest human population density out of all the Caribbean Islands (Miller 2009). Puerto Rico's large human population causes biodiversity to be highly threatened, which is an important consideration for conservation priorities (Francisco-Ortega et. al. 2008). Species in Eupatorium s.l., the largest genus of Asteraceae in Puerto Rico, were studied in this project. These species have been classically placed in Eupatorium s.l. and comprise 42 percent of all Puerto Rican Asteraceae endemics. However, more recently, these species been placed in other genera, including Ageratina, Koanophyllon, Critonia and Chromolaena. A phylogenetic study of the genus Eupatorium s.l. is being conducted in order to better understand the origin, dispersal and diversification of the species. Closest relatives of some species may be found in South America, while others are from Mexico, whcih suggests a complex biogeographic pattern. Therefore, a biogeography assessment of Eupatorium s.l. will be conducted to better understand the distribution of the species, their habitat and dispersal. It is aniticipated that the results will be informative in showing habitats that should be targets for conservation. Additionally, the Caribbean is a center of diversity for Eupatorium s.l. (King and Robinson 1987), which provides insight about the influence of biogeography on their diversification.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 569 Dabney Hall, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA

biodiversity hotspot

Presentation Type: Array
Session: 13
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 13002
Abstract ID:471
Candidate for Awards:George R. Cooley Award

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