Bryophytes; Biogeography; Tropical mountains; Phylogeny; Biodiversity; Ferns; Evolution
Colwell R.K., Gotelli N.J., Ashtone L.A., Beck J., Brehm G., Fayle T.M., Fiedler K., Forister M.L., Kessler M., Kitching R.L., Klimes P., Kluge J., Longino J.T., Maunsell S.C., McCain C.M., Moses J., Noben S., Sam K., Sam L., Shapiro A.M., Wangu X., Novotny V. (2016), Midpoint attractors and species richness: Modeling the interaction between environmental drivers and geometric constraints, in Ecology Letters
, 19, 1009-1022.
Understanding the causes of the variation of community richness and composition in the tropics is one of the longest standing and at the same time most current topics in ecological and biogeographical research. Based on over two decades of research on diversity patterns and phylogenetics of early diverging land plant lineages, we have developed a comprehensive research program aimed at applying these new approaches to bryophytes and ferns. We will test a series of hypotheses that propose that current patterns of diversity of liverworts, mosses, and ferns are the result of various scale- and time-dependent processes on diversification events which in turn are influenced by clade-specific limitations and inter-clade competition. Subproject A will address these hypotheses along 132 standardized survey plots along three tropical elevational transects in Ecuador, Uganda, and New Guinea. In Subproject B, we will extend our study to a global scale by focusing on the pantropically distributed family Cyatheaceae (scaly tree ferns; ~580 spp.). Together, the two subprojects will allow the development of a comprehensive view of how successive bursts of radiations as well as dispersal events have led to the development of current diversity patterns among early diverging land plants.