Patterns of diversity of American alpine species
One of the great questions facing biologists is "how do biological communities assemble?", in other words: "how did all these species come to live in this same place?" This research published in Alpine Botany by PhD student Hector Figueroa of University of Michigan, and colleagues, focuses on this very question for the unique plant communities of alpine regions.
Specimen of the alpine plant Penstemon davidsonii likely included in the dataset used by Figueroa et al. to create species distribution models. Prior to the CAP project, the originating herbarium, Cal State LA, was 0% digitized. The project has liberated this unique collection to contribute to such broad-scale analyses.
- Aggregator - organization that gathers data from multiple sources and makes them accessible from a single site. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and iDigBio are two major aggregators of natural history specimen data.
- Assembly - the process of species moving/evolving over evolutionary time, resulting in the communities of species we see co-occurring today
- History-filtering hypothesis - the scientific hypothesis that phylogenetic and biogeographic factors primarily influence the assembly of communities
- Species richness - the number of species found in a particular region