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Patterns and Mechanisms of Evolution of Island Plants

Santiago-Valentin, Eugenio [1], Francisco-Ortega, Javier [2], Acevedo-Rodriguez, Pedro [3], Lewis, Carl [4], Pipoly, John [4], Maunder, Michael [4].

Endemic plant genera of the Caribbean Islands: an assessment on the basis of molecular data.

The "Caribbean Hotspot" is ranked among the highest in biodiversity for our planet in terms of species richness and endemism. In spite of its conservation priority and global biodiversity importance, there is no recent account on plant genera considered as endemic to the Caribbean Islands. We present current results on an ongoing review on endemic plant genera in this region based on an extensive assessment of relevant monographic revisions and floras, and the current molecular phylogenetic studies that have included these taxa. About 168 endemic genera have been reported, of which approximately 52 are included in molecular phylogenetic analyses. Most of the genera belong to six families (Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Orchidaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae). In addition, most of the endemic genera have fewer than ten species. We evaluate all the molecular phylogenies in terms of robustness of the relationships, taxonomic sampling, and sampled DNA regions. We discuss aspects relevant to patterns of plant biodiversity, such as systematics, ecology and biogeography, conservation, and future perspectives.

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1 - Herbario del Jardín Botánico, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Administracion Central, Apartado 364984, San Juan, PR, 00936-4984, Puerto Rico
2 - Dept. Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, Florida, 33199, USA
3 - Smithsonian Institution, Department of Botany MRC 166, National Museum Of Natural History, Po Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20560-0166, USA
4 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, Miami, Florida, 33156-4299

West Indies
island biodiversity
island flora

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 42-3
Location: Salon J - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
Time: 8:45 AM
Abstract ID:172

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