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TCBES Seminar

Location: Wentworth 9

Ecological speciation in trees: local adaptation and reproductive isolation in Hawaiian Metrosideros

Biologist Dr. Elizabeth Stacy will share what her research team has learned about tree speciation from the Metrosideros family of trees, locally known as ‘ōhi‘a.

Although there are perhaps 100,000 tree species in the world, we know very little about how new species arise in trees. Because trees are long-lived and nearly exclusively outcrossed with a high capacity for long-distance gene flow, speciation may proceed differently in trees than it does in shorter-lived plants.

Hawai‘i’s Metrosideros species complex comprises five species and numerous varieties of woody taxa that have arisen within the islands’ heterogeneous landscapes during the group’s roughly four-million-year history in the islands. Together, the many forms of Metrosideros appear to capture multiple stages of the ecological speciation process in trees.

Prof. Stacy will report findings from her ongoing studies on the relationships among neutral genetic distance, ecological distance, and reproductive isolation among these taxa to summarize what the research team has learned about tree speciation from Metrosideros.

Elizabeth Stacy is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Metrosideros family of trees, locally known as ‘ōhi‘a. Using DNA analysis, she specializes in discovering new species of Hawai‘i Island’s signature tree.

Special Restrictions: All are welcome!

For more information, contact: estacy@hawaii.edu (808) 932-7715

Tags: Ohia ‘ōhi‘a Ecology Adaptation Metrosideros

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