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Abstract Detail


Ott, Jeffrey E. [1], Boyle, Bradley L [2], Enquist, Brian J. [2], Peet, Robert K. [3], Condit, Richard [4], Dolins, Steven [5], Schildhauer, Mark [6], Thiers, Barbara [7].

Floristic-climatic zonation of the New World inferred from plant taxon occurrence data.

Climate is known to influence floristic distribution patterns, but the relationship between climatic variables and floristic composition has rarely been modeled empirically at broad spatial scales. The current availability of geo-referenced plant occurrence data and spatial climate models allows floristic-climatic modeling to be carried out across entire continents. We modeled floristic-climatic zonation for the New World using a comprehensive vascular plant species occurrence dataset assembled by the Botanical Information and Ecology Network (BIEN) in combination with climate models from Worldclim. We used multivariate regression tree analysis to identify floristic zones and climatic transitions at three nested spatial/taxonomic scales (hemispheric/family, regional/genus, subregional/species). At the hemispheric/family scale, we identified seven zones differentiated by annual mean temperature, mean temperature of the coldest quarter, maximum temperature of the warmest month, annual precipitation and temperature seasonality. These zones were further split into ca. 50 regional/genus and ca. 150 subregional/species zones differentiated most frequently by temperature seasonality, precipitation seasonality, mean temperature of the driest quarter, isothermality and annual precipitation. Some zones were similar to floristic regions or ecoregions recognized by previous authors, and some climatic transitions mirrored previously-identified boundaries, but others differed. Our results identify climatic factors that influence the distributions of numerous plant taxa and reveal where in the New World each factor is most influential.

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1 - U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 322 E. Front Street Suite 401, Boise, ID, 83702, USA
2 - University of Arizona
3 - University of North Carolina
4 - Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
5 - Bradley University
6 - University of California Santa Barbara
7 - New York Botanical Garden, William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, New York, 10458, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBG006
Abstract ID:762
Candidate for Awards:None

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