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ATOL-Pleurocarps meeting Bonn 2016

The 2nd International Symposium on the "Evolution and Systematics of pleurocarpous mosses" will be held from June 9-12 2016 at the Nees Institute for Plant Biodiversity in Bonn.

The Moss Tree of Life is deeply rooted in the evolutionary history of land plants, but most of the extant diversity arose within the last 60 million years. The crown group of mosses, the so-called pleurocarps (subclass Hypnanae), comprises nearly half of all moss species, and dominates various terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. Slightly over 5,000 species are distributed among ± 500 genera, and these may have emerged from a rapid radiation in the Mesozoic. Subsequent parallel and reversed shifts in habitats likely erased the already shallow pool of the morphological signatures of shared ancestry. Systematic concepts, whereby 5% of genera hold 50% of species diversity and 40% of genera (i.e., 198) are monospecific, may be accurate in reflecting various radiations, or merely reflect a methodological focus on unique combinations of morphological traits, without consideration of evolutionary history. The circumscription of and the relationships among genera as proposed based on morphological traits are widely contradicted by phylogenetic inferences from DNA data, revealing a high degree of homoplasy, of mostly unresolved polarity, in morphological traits. The meeting in Bonn will provide opportunities to share inferences from ongoing projects, in particular from phylogenomic approaches and the underlying methodologies to reconstructing the moss and pleurocarp trees of life. All bryologists interested in bryophyte evolution are invited to attend, and contribute to furthering our understanding of moss diversification.

For more information please visit the symposium webpage.



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