Global Patterns and Processes of Plant Diversity
Combining phylogenetic, morphological, geographical and ecological data, global patterns and processes of plant diversity are being disentangled.
We are working on large-scale patterns of biodiversity, combining phylogenetic and community-ecological approaches to understand the uneven distribution of species diversity across the globe. Integrating the human dimension in biodiversity studies, we also look at the factors that promote invasiveness as well the effect of climate change on environment and biodiversity. Correlates of extinction risks are also studied using the same datasets with Red List assessments. The work focuses on monocots, island floras and Africa. The project takes advantages of unique resources held at Kew, such as the World Monocot Checklist or DNA barcoding and DNA banking, and allies experience in this sort of analyses elsewhere (Imperial College London).
Project partners and collaborators
Prof Jonathan Davies (McGill University)
Dr Lynsey McInnes, Prof. Tim Barraclough (Imperial College London)
Dr Neil Brummitt (Natural History Museum, London)
Prof Pam Soltis, Prof Doug Soltis (University of Florida)
Prof Peter Crane (Yale)
Prof. Michelle van der Bank (University of Johannesburg)
Dr John Manning, Prof Gideon Smith (South African National Biodiversity Institute)
The European Commission
The Leverhulme Trust
Key publications 2006-2011
Davies, T.J., Smith, G.F., Bellstedt, D.U., Boatwright, J.S., Bytebier, B., Cowling, R.M., Forest, F., Harmon, L.J., Muasya, A.M., Schrire, B., Steenkamp, Y., Bank, M.V.D. & Savolainen, V. (2011). Extinction risk and diversification are linked in a plant biodiversity hotspot. PLoS Biology 9: e1000620.
Schnitzler, J., Barraclough, T.G., Boatwright, J.S., Goldblatt, P., Manning, J.C., Powell, M.P., Rebelo, T., & Savolainen, V. (2011). Causes of plant diversification in the Cape biodiversity hotspot of South Africa. Syst Biol. 60:343-357.
Schaefer, H., Hardy, O.J., Silva, L., Barraclough, T.G. & Savolainen, V. (2011). Testing Darwin's naturalization hypothesis in the Azores. Ecol. Lett. 14:389-396.
Sauquet, H., Weston, P. H., Anderson, C. J., Barker, N. P., Cantrill, D. L., Mast, A. R. & Savolainen, V. (2009). Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots. PNAS 106: 221-225.
Lahaye, R., van der Bank, M., Bogarin, D., Warner, J., Pupulin, F., Gigot, G., Maurin, O., Duthoit, S., Barraclough, T. G. & Savolainen, V. (2008). DNA barcoding the floras of biodiversity hotspots. PNAS 105: 2923-2928