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Tatiana Arias, January 31

Please join the department of Biology in welcoming Dr. Tatiana Arias, Research Botanist at Marie Selby Botanical Garden, for her talk entitled, “Neotropical epiphytic orchids: The role of morphology and ecology in their evolution and explosive diversification.” The talk will be held via Zoom on January 31, 2022 at 4pm EST. For access to the Zoom information, please contact Becca Rohn at (304)293-5201 or at becca.rohn@mail.wvu.edu.

More on the talk:
A key set of morphological and physiological traits, and ecological interactions have allowed epiphytic orchids to diversify in the neotropics. Particularly, the Andean mountains of northern south America hold a huge diversity of species with highly specialized, micro differentiated niches along an altitudinal gradient. As a result orchid species are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and have a low tolerance to climatic change. This talk communicates recent advances in our understanding of orchid phylogenies focusing mostly on groups of epiphytes with high endemism and diversity in the Andes (Cymbideae, Pleurothallidinae especially Lepanthes). An evolutionary framework is essential for understanding processes and patterns that have given rise to the spectacular orchid diversity of the Andes. At the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, herbarium specimens and live orchid collections are being used to understand the role key traits have played in the evolution and diversification of orchids, with the ultimate goal of conserving species in their natural habitats.

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