Spatial phylogenetics of Australian Mosses and Liverworts

Andrew Thornhill

Spatial phylogenetics is the combination of a phylogeny with spatial data to look for unique and significant areas of diversity and endemism. One advantage of phylogenetic approaches to diversity and endemism is that clades of organisms can be compared at various levels, rather than just at the species level as in classic approaches. Australia is a world leader in the digitization of botanical specimen data. There are over 5 million plant records stored in Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH), most of which are georeferenced. This has allowed a number of Australian spatial phylogenetic studies to have been made on the native Australian flora including a genus level analysis of Australian angiosperms, the ferns, Acacia, and the eucalypts. An analysis of both the Australian mosses and liverworts at the genus level has been made for the first time, combining a near complete genus level phylogeny of both the mosses and liverworts with thousands of databased bryophyte herbarium records. Preliminary results of these two studies will be presented which include results from phylogenetic diversity and endemism, and a Categorical Analysis of Centres of Neo and Paleo Endemism (CANAPE) that was developed using other Australian plant groups. Ways to improve future bryophyte spatial phylogenetic analyses will also be proposed.


Presenting Author:  Andrew Thornhill

Author Affiliation: State Herbarium of South Australia/ University of Adelaide