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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Benitez, Liliana [1], Chambers, Sally [2], Oberle, Brad [3], Sidoti, Brian [1].

Species Niche Modeling of the Endangered Bromeliads Tillandsia utriculata and T. fasciculata.

Florida is home to several endangered plant and animal species.The large, epiphytic bromeliads Tillandsia utriculata and T. fasciculata are two of these species, currently being attacked by the invasive Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona). The weevil targets larger plants, often before they are able to set seed. Tillandsia utriculata is especially threatened because it is unable to reproduce vegetatively, unlike T. fasciculata. Florida is the northernmost extent for both of these species, which can be found in Central and South America as well. While their distributions are similar, their responses to the altered climate anticipated in the future may differ given their different reproductive strategies. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the ideal climatic variables that drive each species’ distribution can help inform conservation efforts.We collected locality information from several herbaria and databases and used climatic variable layers from WorldClim to model the climatic niche and distribution of each species using the program MaxEnt. While the distributions of both species were driven by precipitation, minimum temperatures, and mean wind speed, the importance of each variable differed between the two. The distribution of T. fasciculata is most driven by minimum temperature of January, total annual precipitation, and mean wind speed, respectively, while the distribution of T. utriculata is most driven by mean wind speed, minimum precipitation of the driest month, and mean temperature of the coldest quarter, respectively. These results indicate that  T. utriculata prefers windier conditions, which is consistent with its large inflorescence and larger investment in seed production, while T. fasciculata shows a higher tolerance for short-term drought conditions, which could be due to its longer trichome wing diameter providing protection against water loss. These distribution models can be used to assist conservation efforts by predicting distribution changes based on future climate predictions and researching how Metamasius callizona has impacted the distribution and probability of occurrence of these two species in Florida.

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1 - New College of Florida, Natural Sciences, 5800 Bay Shore Blvd, Sarasota, FL, 34243, United States
2 - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Botany, 900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL, 34236, USA
3 - New College Of Florida, Natural Sciences, 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, FL, 34243, United States

Species Distribution Modelling
Niche Modeling

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT006
Abstract ID:1270
Candidate for Awards:None

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