Evolution of Biomes and Biodiversity: A Southern Hemisphere Perspective
Jun 06, 2017
from 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM
|Where||Krajinova posluchárna (B12) lecture hall, Benátská 2, Prague 2|
|Contact Name||Tomáš Herben|
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Laco is one of the best vegetation scientists in the world, with broad experience form all biomes, and profound knowledge of their ecology and history. He comes from Slovakia, and worked at universities in Vienna and Kuwait, to settle in the Southern Hemisphere, first at Stellenbosch (South Africa) and finally at the University of Western Australia, where he has conducted vegetation, ecogical and biogeographical research. In addition to all that, he has been one of the key spiriti moventes of the vegetation of Europe project.
Everybody is welcome!
Southern Hemisphere has 16-times less dry land that the North. Yet, much of the tropical rainforests, majority of savannas, and three of five mediterranean-type ecosystems found their home on Southern Hemisphere, and as do many biodiversity hotspots that support staggering levels of endemism, beta diversity and regional floras counting thousands of species on areas as mall as only several hundreds of square kilometres. Southern Hemisphere is indeed a very a special place. This seminar will focus on evolution of flora and evolutionary assembly of selected biomes on Southern Hemisphere, and investigate the role of long-term disturbance drivers such as fire (in Brazilian cerrado savannas), explosive young speciation events (such as found in the Greater Capensis of Africa), and formation of evolutionary refugia (musea) that characterise ancient Australia. The role of relative tectonic quiescence (lack of soil regeneration) and associated extremely nutrient poor soils, combined with long-term disturbance by fire (also functioning as serious evolutionary player) in Brazilian campos rupestres, the Cape and Southwestern Australian fynbos and kwongan shrublands are presumed to form the fabric of old, climatically stable landscapes supporting unprecedented taxonomic and biome diversity.
School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009, Perth, Australia; Laco.Mucina@uwa.edu.au.