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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Gómez Hernández, Marko [1], Williams Linera, Guadalupe [1].

Phylogenetic structure of macromycete communities along an entire elevation gradient in central Veracruz, Mexico.

Phylogenetic information provides understanding into the ecological and evolutionary processes that organize taxa within and across communities. The phylogenetic approach has been rarely included when studying the underlying causes of diversity and species composition, particularly in macromycete communities along elevation gradients. The aim of this work was to determine the phylogenetic relatedness of macrofungal species in an entire elevation gradient to infer about the evolutionary forces structuring communities. We calculated and compared the phylogenetic diversity (PD) and the net related index (NRI) as a metric of phylogenetic structure in the pool of the phylogeny for macromycete and woody plant, and estimated the phylogenetic turnover of macromycete using the PhyloSor index. Macrofungi and woody plant were sampled within eight communities from 100 to 3500 m elevation represented by tropical dry forest, montane cloud forest, conifer forest and the ecotones between those vegetation types. A total of 204 macromycete and 112 woody plant species were recorded. The phylogenetic analysis for macrofungi and woody plant included 184 and 96 terminal taxa, respectively. Species richness and PD followed the same pattern along the elevation gradient, however, macromycete showed a peak at mid-low elevation, whereas woody plant decreased form low to high altitude. NRI indicated that phylogenetic structure of macromycete communities is homogenously overdispersed along the gradient, and structure of woody plant communities is overdispersed at low elevation but clustered at high altitude. Consistently, PhyloSor indicated a low phylogenetic similitude between adjacent communities of macromycete, and the similitude decreased monotonically with altitudinal distance among sites. Our study suggests that species richness is as useful as PD to quantify diversity, as the increase in species number within a community results in increasing the number of coexisting taxa. Moreover, this study indicates that the evolutionary forces structuring macromycete and woody plan communities along the altitudinal gradient differ. The overdispersed phylogenetic structure of macromycete communities is likely to be caused by competitive exclusion between sister species due to excessive overlapping of ecological niches, or species specialization to particular habitats as a consequence of evolutionary convergence of traits.

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1 - Instituto de Ecología A.C., Ecología Funcional, Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351 El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91070, México

Phylogenetic diversity
Phylogenetic turnover
Altitudinal gradient
Species richness.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 32
Location: Marlborough B/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 32002
Abstract ID:140
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper,Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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