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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Jones, Katy [1], Hiscock, Simon [2], Carine, Mark [1].

What explains the Azores diversity enigma?

Macaronesia comprises the volcanic archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Salvage Islands and the Cape Verdes, in the North Atlantic Ocean. Based on current taxonomic concepts, the Azores angiosperm flora is distinctive in that there are very few endemic taxa (c. 60 taxa) and of those, only a small proportion are Single Island Endemics (SIEs; 4%). In contrast, the Canary Islands have an extremely rich endemic flora of c. 607 species with a large proportion of SIEs. Island age, lineage age and habitat diversity alone do not provide satisfactory explanations for these differences. Several new hypotheses have been put forward to explain the differences observed; (i) high levels of undocumented extinctions in the Azores flora, (ii) high dispersal ability of Azorean taxa, (iii) differences in climate across the Macaronesian archipelagos and (iv) inadequacies in the level of taxonomic knowledge of the Azores flora. Molecular analyses of several endemic lineages suggest that there may be a considerable amount of previously undocumented diversity in the flora. This poster presents a preliminary analysis of herbarium collections of Azorean taxa worldwide which suggest that hypothesis (iv) may help to explain the differences in the diversity patterns of endemic taxa between the Azores and the Canary Islands. Future plans for investigations to help resolve the 'Azores diversity enigma' are also outlined.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - The Natural History Museum, Department Of Botany, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
2 - Bristol University, Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol, Oval, BS8 1UG, UK

Island endemic plant diversity
Island biogeography
Morphological and molecular diversity patterns.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY059
Abstract ID:207

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