Lily R. Lewis
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
The origin of the bipolar disjunction and the southern South American endemic Tetraplodon fuegianus.
The geographic distribution of many plants is shaped by long distance dispersal across oceans and unsuitable habitats, typically by wind currents. However, some patterns of disjuntion do not correlate with wind paths, and some species are unlikely candidates for wind dispersal. Our knowledge of long distance dispersal and thus its affect on shaping global floristic diversity is largely limited to model cases where wind paths are available for organisms with high dispersal ability. I am using a combined phylogenetic and phylogeographic approach to resolve bipolar phylogeographic histories in a dispersal limited taxon, the common dung moss (Tetraplodon). An integral part of my dissertation work has been my collaboration with an innovative biocultural conservation program at Omora Ethnobotanical Park Southernmost Chile.