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The aim of the project is the reconstruction of the evolution of selected genera of Bromeliaceae. In Fosterella originated and diversified in the Bolivian Andes and has numerous local endemics. The radiation of Werauhia resulted in numerous Central American species (Costa Rica, Panama). Different niches were colonized across an altitudinal (and also climatic) gradient, with adaptation to pollinators potentially playing an important role.

Using molecular methods, the phylogeny, character state evolution and historical biogeography will be reconstructed. Based on actual distribution data, the climatic and ecological niches will be modelled and the evolution of these parameters reconstructed. The phylogenies and scenarios for the evolution of character states are compared with climatic and environmental changes during the Cenozoic.

Understanding the evolution of endemics and the therewith associated factors is also a major goal of the project.

The studies are conducted in cooperation with Dr. Jan Schnitzler and Dr. Juraj Paule and our partners at the University of Kassel (AK Prof. Dr. Kurt Weising), James Cook University, Cairns (Dr. Katharina Schulte), University of Chiriquí (UNACHI) (Dr. Daniel Cáceres) and the University of Gothenburg (Dr. Daniele Silvestro) as well as our Brazilian colleagues.



Caceres Gonzalez, D.A., Schulte, K., Schmidt, M. & G. Zizka (2011) : A synopsis of the Bromeliaceae of Panama, including new records for the country. - Willdenowia 41: 357-369.

Caceres Gonzalez, D.A., Schulte, K., Schmidt, M. & G. Zizka (2013) : Diversity and levels of endemism of the Bromeliaceae of Costa Rica – an updated checklist. - PhytoKeys 29: 17-62.

Rex, M., Schulte, K., Zizka, G., Peters, J., Vásquez, R., Ibisch, P.L. & K. Weising (2009) : Phylogenetic analysis of Fosterella L.B. Sm. (Pitcairnioideae, Bromeliaceae) based on four chloroplast DNA regions. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51: 472–485.

Schulte, K., Barfuss, M. H. J. & G. Zizka (2009) : Phylogeny of Bromelioideae (Bromeliaceae) inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA loci reveals the evolution of the tank habit within the subfamily. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51: 327-339.

Silvestro, D. & I. Michalak (2012) : raxmlGUI: a graphical front-end for RAxML. - Organisms Diversity and Evolution 12: 335-337.

Silvestro, D.*, Schnitzler, J.* & G. Zizka (2011) : A Bayesian framework to estimate diversification rates and their variation through time and space. - BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:311. (* equal contribution). doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-311

Wagner, N., Silvestro, D., Brie, D., Ibisch, P.L., Zizka, G., Weising, K. & K. Schulte (2013) : Spatio-temporal evolution of Fosterella (Bromeliaceae) in the Central Andean biodiversity hotspot. -Journal of Biogeography 40: 869-880.

Zizka, G., Schmidt, M., Schulte, K., Novoa, P., Pinto, R. & K. König (2009) : Chilean Bromeliaceae: diversity, distribution and evaluation of conservation status. - Biodiversity and Conservation 18 (9): 2449-2471.

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