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SEMINARS: Two Department of Life Sciences Seminars

Posted by C Lowry on Mar 5, 2013 9:11:09 AM

Department of Life Sciences Seminars



The New Forest Quantitative Inventory – update and future prospects


Paul Eggleton

Terrestrial Invertebrates, Dept.of Life Sciences, NHM


Wednesday 6 of March 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


The New Forest is a UK biodiversity hotspot with habitats of European-wide importance. These include substantial pasture woodlands and wet and dry heathland. A large amount of inventory-style research has been conducted in the national park, but biodiversity patterns have seldom been explored in a quantitative way across the whole landscape. We set out to address this deficit by investigating quantitative multi-taxon biodiversity patterns in as comprehensive as way as possible. This work began in 2010 and was a cross-departmental programme involving scientists from Entomology, Botany, Zoology and Mineralogy. It built on the now 11-year continuous soil and litter sampling programme undertaken by the Soil Biodiversity Group. Numerous taxonomic groups were studied but not all of the identification and analysis work has been completed for all those groups. In this talk Paul will specifically discuss the results of the soil/litter macrofauna and tree lichen research and place the work in a broader UK context, examining what they tells us about temporal, spatial and environmental drivers of UK biodiversity. The work confirms the importance of the National Park as a UK biodiversity hotspot as well as recognising several threats to that biodiversity both from management interventions and potentially from climate change. 




The section Glareosae of the genus Carex (Cyperaceae) as a model for evolutionary studies in angiosperms


Enrique Maguilla Salado

PhD Student, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemical Engineering, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain


Friday 8 of March 11:00
Sir Neil Chalmers seminar room, Darwin Centre LG16 (below Attenborough studio)


The causes of the abrupt diversification of angiosperms from the Cretaceous have been in debate since the origin of the evolution’s theory in order to explain Darwin’s "Abominable Mystery." The genus Carex, with over 2.000 species, is the most diverse among flowering plants and the largest in number of species in the temperate northern hemisphere. The present review compiles much of the bibliographic information available to date about Carex section Glareosae (ca. 25 spp.) to show that gathers a number of features that make it a good model for studies in systematics and evolution of flowering plants. Based on (1) the problematic taxonomy, which has been demonstrated in several taxonomic treatments, and also the controversial about the consideration of species, subspecies or varieties, (2) the different patterns of distribution (endemic, bipolar, etc..) and the different ecological requirements of each species, and (3) the cytogenetic variability at inter- and intraspecific level, we conclude that this group of species is a good model for researching the causes of speciation or drivers of evolution and speciation in flowering plants. Furthermore, these studies can help us in understanding the origin of the current biodiversity of the Earth and how to protect it.




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