March 6 2013

12:00 LSB 2320

Kathleen Kay
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Pattern and Mechanisms of Plant Diversification across Two Biodiversity Hotspots


Lineages and geographic locations vary widely in species richness. My research program seeks to understand the evolutionary histories underlying present-day plant biodiversity hotspots, and to use the actively-diversifying lineages present in those hotspots to better understand mechanisms of speciation and coexistence. My talk will describe phylogenetic patterns of plant diversification in California and the Neotropical forests, and speciation mechanisms in focal lineages from each location, including Neotropical spiral gingers and some common California spring wildflowers. I highlight differences in the timing and rates of diversification that contribute to present day patterns of diversity, and detail efforts in my lab to understand the ecological and genetic factors contributing to speciation. I present evidence for an active role of natural selection in the formation and maintenance of species, through divergence in pollination systems, edaphic affinities, and the reinforcement of species boundaries in sympatry.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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