Juan Andrés Martínez-Lanfranco
PhD Student in Ecology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta
Supervised by Dr. Erin Bayne
Understanding patterns of avian and mammal diversity in the Pampas of South America: A conservation paradox and biogeographical puzzle revisited.
I aim at characterizing diversity patterns of birds and mammals in the Pampas of South America (~700,000 km2), the most extensive grassland ecosystem of the Neotropics. Using freely available distributional, environmental, phylogenetic, and ecological trait data, within a novel conceptual and methodological approach (Ovaskainen et al. 2017, Ecol. Lett.), I will address: What is the relative contribution of the environment, species’ traits, relatedness and chance alone on uncovered diversity patterns? Is the existing protected area network representing the most salient diversity features effectively? By identifying richness hotspots and high-turnover areas, and its drivers, results would aid conservation prioritization as well as the development of land use and climate change mitigation strategies for a highly diverse and imperiled Biome.