Presentation Title

Biodiversity assessment in two Nebraska prairies: comparison between phylogenetic, functional, and traditional diversity indices

Advisor Information

Roxanne Kellar

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

6-3-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

6-3-2015 10:30 AM

Abstract

To conserve the Earth’s biodiversity, conservation of evolutionary diversity is a priority. Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity metric, which measures the evolutionary distance between taxa in a community. PD is often difficult to measure due to time and cost, and previous studies suggest functional diversity (FD) or species richness (S) as surrogates. However, studies have found these measurements do not always give the same result and may lead to different estimates of biodiversity and different conservation strategies. My research compared 19 PD metrics with FD and four traditional diversity indices (including S) between two prairies in Nebraska. I generated over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. My results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the dataset used to infer the phylogenies (i.e. the quantity of genes included), and it is important to use comparable datasets when comparing PD metrics between sites. Various PD, FD, and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the question being investigated. My study provides empirical results that begin to reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness in using PD in combination with FD and traditional diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning.

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COinS
 
Mar 6th, 9:00 AM Mar 6th, 10:30 AM

Biodiversity assessment in two Nebraska prairies: comparison between phylogenetic, functional, and traditional diversity indices

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

To conserve the Earth’s biodiversity, conservation of evolutionary diversity is a priority. Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity metric, which measures the evolutionary distance between taxa in a community. PD is often difficult to measure due to time and cost, and previous studies suggest functional diversity (FD) or species richness (S) as surrogates. However, studies have found these measurements do not always give the same result and may lead to different estimates of biodiversity and different conservation strategies. My research compared 19 PD metrics with FD and four traditional diversity indices (including S) between two prairies in Nebraska. I generated over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. My results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the dataset used to infer the phylogenies (i.e. the quantity of genes included), and it is important to use comparable datasets when comparing PD metrics between sites. Various PD, FD, and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the question being investigated. My study provides empirical results that begin to reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness in using PD in combination with FD and traditional diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning.