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Macroecology and Biogeography meeting

May 3rd to 6th 2023 - Universität Bayreuth

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Grasses and grasslands in Madagascar

Jan Hackel1
1 Universität Marburg

P 2.24 in Poster Session Friday (14:45-15:30)

Grasses are one of the most diverse plant families in Madagascar, and grasslands cover >70% of land surface. I will summarise some of my past and ongoing research on Madagascar's grasses. Phylogenetic analysis shows that endemic open-habitat grasses arrived before humans colonised the island. There are distinct fire- and herbivore-adapted grass communities, suggesting natural diversification. Yet the debate about human impacts is ongoing, as deforestation is rampant. Madagascar also features a unique clade of grasses that has radiated in understory and high-mountain environments. Future research needs to combine different data types to understand how Madagascar's grasslands have evolved in the distant and recent past, and how they can be best managed for biodiversity and livelihoods.

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