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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Vela Diaz, Dilys [1], Jiménez, Iván [2].

Species delimitation:identifying the most relevant dimensions to infer gaps in morphology.

Although species are considered important biodiversity units, methods to define their limits have been contentious. Multivariate ordination techniques have been widely used to delimit species based on discontinuities (gaps) in morphological variation. Often only the first few ordination axes are used to visually inspect morphological variation, under the unwarranted assumption that axes capturing most variation across all specimens are the most relevant for species delimitation. Here we show that a recently developed method to measure morphological discontinuities, based on analyses of multivariate normal mixtures,can be extended to identify the dimensions of morphological variation that are most informative for species delimitation. Hence, this method can help to measure the strength of the evidence for the existence of a morphological gap between two hypothesized species. We examine the performance of the approach under various sample sizes using simulated taxonomic samples based on Edgar Anderson's Iris flower dataset.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Missouri - St. Louis, Department Biology. 223 Research Building, One University Blvd., Saint Louis, MO, 63121-4499, USA
2 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development, Saint Louis, MO, 63166-0299, USA

morphological variation
multivariate normal mixtures 
species delimitation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 43
Location: Lindell B/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: 43007
Abstract ID:471

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