Linking global species richness and beta diversity.. (WORLDIVERSITY)
Linking global species richness and beta diversity to individual species distributions at multiple phylogenentic and spatial scales
Start date: Aug 1, 2012,
End date: Jul 31, 2015
Recently, unprecedented amounts of information on the World’s biodiversity have been assembled and striking patterns in its distribution have been described, such as the latitudinal gradient of species richness or the relationship between the richness and climate. Major challenges are to establish linkages between the various biodiversity patterns, to understand the mechanisms generating these patterns, and to make the results of macroecology useful for conservation biology and policy. This project will address these through the following objectives: (i) I will explore global patterns of aspects of biodiversity other than species richness, namely beta diversity; (ii) I will use the method of taxonomic deconstruction of global biodiversity patterns to assess their universality and I will examine if their taxon-specific forms can be linked to life history traits or phylogeny; (iii) I will improve methods designed to predict biodiversity in poorly surveyed areas or in areas under the thread of climate change. To address this I will use global data on birds, mammals, amphibians and recently developed statistical methods (spatially explicit regression techniques, phylogenetic analyses, randomization procedures). I will do the analyses at multiple grain resolutions. I will develop software that will enable my methods to be accessible to wide academic community. The project has relevance for biodiversity conservation both world-wide and within the EU and it will improve some of the methods currently used in biodiversity research. The project will establish vital collaboration between EU and Yale University. The project will provide me with training in cutting-edge biodiversity informatics, programming and novel evolutionary approaches. The hosting Jetz Lab at Yale University has well-evidenced experience in the analyses of broad-scale biodiversity data, it hosts leading experts and it participates in a number of collaborative efforts that will benefit the planned work.
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