Catalysis Meeting

Perspectives on the origin and conservation of biodiversity in patagonia

PI(s): Jack Sites (Brigham Young University)
Daniel Faith (The Australian Museum)
Start Date: 1-Mar-2008
End Date: 8-Aug-2008
Keywords: biodiversity, biogeography, phylogenetics, climate change, conservation biology

Studies of the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity in a given area require phylogenetic data sets for multiple taxa, point localities for which high-resolution climate/environmental data are available, and the use of new conceptual and statistical tools. It is possible to integrate these data to test ecological – evolutionary hypotheses of the origins of biodiversity over varying spatial and temporal scales in some regions, and to make predictions about overall biodiversity patterns to serve regional biodiversity conservation planning. We therefore propose a Catalyst Group meeting to develop an integrated biodiversity research plan for the Patagonian region of South America. This meeting would capitalize on a more narrowly-defined, ongoing NSF supported PIRE - “Patagonia Biodiversity” project that includes collaborators from the US, Canada, Argentina, and Chile. A Catalyst Group meeting at this point would leverage greater gain from current work, and engage the Patagonia group in dialogue with specialists on geological/climate history of the region, new integrative research tools for comparative phylogeography, macroecology, climate change, biodiversity conservation policy, and the development of global biodiversity data-bases that serve multiple constituencies. These connections, including links to DIVERSITAS and GBIF will produce new initiatives and collaborations for grant proposals.

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