Tangled Bank Seminar

Tangled Bank Seminar Ida M. Mienna from NTNU University Museum and on "Combining species occurrence data and molecular phylogenies can reveal hidden patterns of diversity and endemism".

Tangled Bank Seminar with Ida M. Mienna

Combining species occurrence data and molecular phylogenies can reveal hidden patterns of diversity and endemis

Ida M. Mienna

PhD candidate
Faculty of Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management (NMBU) and Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum


Commonly, we measure biodiversity as the local abundance of discrete species. This approach fails, however, to incorporate evolutionary relationships among species and hence gives an incomplete picture of the diversity in a given region. Recently developed methods for spatial phylogenetics combine species occurrences with molecular phylogenetic data to recover information about the spatial distribution of phylogenetic diversity and endemism across a selected geographic area. Large-scale studies of phylogenetic diversity and endemism are now feasible thanks to the availability of huge amounts of DNA sequence data and species occurrence data in public repositories. In this seminar, I will provide some background on the spatial phylogenetics approach, explain the various metrics, and give some examples from various taxonomic groups. I will also will present our soon to be published spatial phylogenetic work on Norwegian vascular plants and corresponding work on Fennoscandia. In these studies, we test various hypothesized environmental drivers, including temperature and precipitation, edaphic factors and post-glacial history in order to identify the factors that might have shaped the phylogenetic diversity. Our results show that both contemporary ecological factors, as well as post-glacial history, likely shaped the phylogenetic structure of Norwegian plant communities. Our results suggest also that the flora in the far north of Norway results from recent colonisation of closely related species, while the coastal regions have been assembled through colonisation of species with deeper lineages. 


Ida M. Mienna is a PhD student at NMBU in Ås and was previously based at NTNU University Museum in Trondheim where she did her Master’s thesis on the spatial phylogenetics of Norwegian vascular plants. Her current research is on treeline dynamics and remote sensing. 

Publisert 26. mars 2019 10:08 - Sist endret 26. mars 2019 21:16