Systematics, biogeography and phylogeography of South Asian biota
Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Praveen Karanth, Maitreya Sil
Maximum number of participants
3rd July 2023. 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ( Room 1)
This symposium will encompass a series of talks that help decipher the mechanisms driving the diversity and distribution patterns of the biota of South Asia, as well as shed light on how to tackle the potential changes in these patterns resulting from the impending anthropogenic pressure.
In recent decades, molecular phylogenetic based studies have been instrumental in resolving taxonomic ambiguities, discovery of undescribed diversity, and broadening our understanding of the role served by the past geological and climatic processes in governing the biogeographic and diversification patterns. Molecular phylogenetic methods also can be applied in conjunction with population genetic tools in phylogeographic studies to elucidate more fine scale patterns occurring over shorter time scales. South Asia, home to a megadiverse country India, and two biodiversity hotspots is incredibly rich in biodiversity. South Asia owes this diversity largely due to its geological connections with Gondwanan continents, subsequent transoceanic dispersals and later mass dispersals from Southeast Asia, West Asia and Africa, and the Palearctic realm. These latter dispersals after the collision of the Indian plate with Asia fluctuated with various global and regional climatic upheavals. These climatic changes also created ecological opportunities, which led to the diversification of many lineages. Another factor contributing to the diversification is the topographic heterogeneity of South Asia, which simultaneously act as barriers to dispersal and create a climatic and ecological gradient. These aforementioned climatic gradients and physical barriers also result in a myriad of distribution patterns observed in various taxa. Some of the same mechanisms, albeit occurring at a more recent time scale, such as the Pleistocene glacial cycles, also influence genetic diversity and shape fine scale distribution patterns. However, these patterns and underlying processes in South Asia are not understood very well. This symposium intends to bring together researchers working on systematics, diversification, biogeography and phylogeography in South Asia. The resulting synthesis of ideas will allow us to understand the mechanisms driving the diversity and distribution patterns of the biota of South Asia, as well as shed light on how to tackle the potential changes in these patterns resulting from the impending anthropogenic pressure.