Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology

Lynch, Skylar [1], Tripp, Erin [2], Melbourne, Brett [3].

Comparing a Phenological Shift in Tropical Wet and Dry Habitats Using Herbarium Specimens.

The tropics contain over three quarters of the world’s biodiversity and shifts in tropicalecosystems can have ripple effects felt throughout the entire world. Both wet and dry tropical habitats are threatened by climate change, however dry climates are at greater risk in many cases. Studies that document shifts in life events provide crucial evidence towards understanding the effects of global climate change on ecosystems. We here launch an investigation of phenological shifts in tropical flowering plants in numerous ecosystems worldwide, and consider the nuances and complexities of flowering timing in the tropics. We hypothesized that climate change effects will be magnified in dry (compared to wet) tropical habitats because of the reliance on a dry season, and climate change’s effect on global precipitation. We selected 20 representative locations in a pairwise fashion, comparing a wet and dry habitat in each of these locations. We amalgamated data from 219,618 digitized herbarium specimens that bear flowering structures, representing over 50,000 taxa and spanning 270 years to discern mean flowering times. A combination of circular regression analysis and MANOVA analyses were used to investigate shifts in the timing and frequency of the flowering events. Preliminary analyses support the prediction that there are more drastic shifts in flowering times in dry habitats compared to wet counterparts in multiple regions. Future directions will include expanding the parameters used to define wet and dry habitats, as opposed to the binary categorization employed here. Understanding global impacts of climate change requires perspectives from tropical latitudes, which has been lacking. Such knowledge will furthermore aid in predictive models to better understand the future of these communities.

1 - University of Colorado Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 3220 Madison Ave, Boulder , CO, 80303, USA
2 - C105, Ramaley Hall, UCB350, Clare Small Building, Basement, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States
3 - University of Colorado Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1800 Colorado Ave., Boulder, CO, 80309, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: TP1002
Abstract ID:646
Candidate for Awards:None

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