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Tracking plant diversity dynamics on islands over thousands of years

Presenting person: Dr. Anna Walentowitz, Biogeography, BayCEER (Homepage)
Th. 2024-06-06 (12:15-13:45), H6, Geo

Plant communities on islands are rapidly changing in the Anthropocene due to human activities. Species get extinct or extirpated and the number of non-native species is rising worldwide. Islands are attractive study sites for ecologist and biogeographers due their discrete boundaries and simplified nature. They also have individual onsets of the Anthropocene that begins with the arrival and permanent settlement of humans. Studies tracking floristic changes on islands are usually based on written records and do not exceed the past 500 years. This talk focuses on contextualising current changes in plant species on islands during the past 5000 years by using fossil pollen data. The focus will be on the rise in non-native plant species and homogenisation of insular floras worldwide. I show how palynological data can support the biogeographical analysis and contextualisation of biodiversity changes in the Anthropocene.

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