Project title: “Modeling past, current and future endemic plant species distribution in South-Eastern Carpathians for biogeographic analysis and conservation planning

Project duration: 05. 2013 – 09. 2015

UEFISCDI record no. 16/25.04.2013

Program Name in PNII: Resurse Umane

Project type: Post-doctoral research project (PD)


Summary: Historical and ecological factors influence the distribution of species across all environments. Last major events in Earth’s history, the Pleistocene glaciations, have shaped the current areal of species and determined evolutionary processes of speciation and extinction. The best imprint of these biogeographic and evolutionary phenomena resides in the current distribution of endemic species, biological entities characterized by a limited distribution to one or few geographic units. Analyzing their distribution through state of the art methodological and technical approaches can offer valuable information on these processes. Our proposed study aims at disentangling three main aspects of patterns of endemism in an important mountain range of the European Alpine System: the South-Eastern Carpathians. The first approach focuses on the Postglacial areal dynamics of endemic species by using an ensemble approach for species distribution modeling implemented in BIOMOD software and paleoclimatic data. The second approach aims at optimizing the spatial structure of protected areas network in the South-Eastern Carpathians through the use of actual and potential endemic species distribution. The main criteria for conservation prioritization will be protected areas connectivity and the influence of climate change on species distribution. Finally, we will investigate the biogeography of the South-Eastern Carpathians by means of quantitative biogeography.