Hodkinson, Brendan P. , Lendemer, James C. .
Biodiversity Informatics: A research workflow integrating floristics, taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology and conservation.
The field of Systematic Biology has increasingly become fragmented in recent years, with many scientists focusing in on a small number of methods or approaches for studying biodiversity and its origins. Here we present an integrated workflow for studying the many facets of biodiversity and systematics. This workflow is currently being used to conduct a large-scale inventory of lichens in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States that includes the collection and analysis of ~35,000 new specimens. Using floristic habitat sampling (FHS), specimens representing the organismal group of interest are collected from individual sites throughout the study region, and are subsequently analyzed anatomically and chemically. Specimens that cannot be identified taxonomically with anatomical/chemical analyses alone are sequenced using a multi-locus 454-based approach. Sequences from the genes of interest (in our case, mtSSU, nucLSU and nucITS) are compared with publicly-available reference sequences to determine the phylogenetic affinities of species that remain either unnamed or 'incertae sedis.' All collections are databased rapidly using modular databasing software (KE EMu). Large-scale ecological analyses are performed on database-generated taxon lists by hijacking data management software originally designed for organizing and analyzing large molecular sequence data sets. Overall results are compiled and made available on the web in the form of, e.g., checklists (for regions, sub-regions and sites), detailed taxonomic treatments, molecular sequence alignments, phylogenetic trees, and specimen-based ecological data sets. Both through these online resources and workshops/forays for the public, information is disseminated for integration into conservation and management plans to preserve biodiversity for the future.
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1 - New York Botanical Garden, International Plant Science Center, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA
2 - New York Botanical Garden, Institute for Systematic Botany, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM