New Caledonia is one of the world's centres of plant endemism and is of global conservation importance. It has a rich conifer flora containing 43 species, all of which are endemic. These endemic conifers include 13 of the world's 19 Araucaria species.
Research aims to:
- elucidate phylogenetic relationships amongst New Caledonian Araucaria
- evaluate how phylogenetic relationships correlate with species morphologies and ecologies
- investigate the distinctness of morphologically similar species
- establish the spatial scales over which populations experience genetic isolation
- assess the impacts of habitat degradation on gene flow among populations
Araucaria columnaris, New Caledonia
Our aim is to understand the factors that have led to this remarkable diversification on New Caledonia, to establish the relationship between population genetic diversity and the local environment, and to provide information to facilitate the formulation of appropriate conservation management strategies.
The project is a collaboratation with Richard Ennos at the University of Edinburgh, Myriam Gaudeul at the Natural History Museum Paris, and Tanguy Jaffre at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, in New Caledonia. It has been funded by RBGE, NERC and The Darwin Trust of Edinburgh
The project coordinator is Pete Hollingsworth.