Biodiversity and Plant Evolution

This group develops a synthesis discipline and uses data from different fields of biology: anatomical, karyological, cytogenetic, geographical, molecular, morphological, palynological and chemical. All of them are treated together to obtain a global vision of different groups, mainly of the family Compositae and study systematics and evolution. It also develops studies in the field of conservation of plant diversity, biogeography, cytogenetics and kariology. A special point of interest is the analysis of the alpine radiations of insular type, for which a consortium of eight countries has been formed and it is coordinated by this research group.

Research group objectives

In the field of Biosystematics:

  • Obtain molecular phylogenies that allow us to explain the evolution and relationships between the taxa, as well as get more natural classifications of the different taxonomic groups.
  • To combine the systematic knowledge with the molecular data to understand the evolutionary and speciation processes.
  • Use DNA fingerprinting tools to establish patterns of identification of species of industrial and pharmacological interest, in collaboration with private companies.

In the field of Biogeography:

  • To carry out biogeographical and molecular dating analyses of different taxonomic groups.
  • To perform different phylogeographic studies of Mediterranean, South African and Macaronesian species.
  • To compare phylogeographic patterns of some species not related to a common distribution with the intention of elucidating what are the common historical causes of dispersion / vicariance and to identify ecological, geological and climatic causes that have determined their current distribution.
  • To analyse the endemism and diversity of hotspots in the Mediterranean Region and establish patterns that help predict the impact of climate change on plant diversity.

In the field of the Conservation of Endangered Species:

  • To investigate the levels of variability and genetic structure of populations in species of special interest in conservation.
  • To propose of adequate conservation measures based on genetic studies.
  • To elucidate of patterns of genetic variability in the flora of the Mediterranean Region.
  • To realize of demographic studies in species and determination of their degree of threat.
  • To develop of management plans, conservation and recovery of threatened species.
  • To study of the distribution patterns of vascular plants and delimitation of biodiversity hotspots.