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Insights into post-glacial colonization of sub-arctic environments: Using beetle phylogeny to determine the role of feeding strategy

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Title: Insights into post-glacial colonization of sub-arctic environments: Using beetle phylogeny to determine the role of feeding strategy
Author: Pyle, Michelle
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Adamowicz, Sarah
Abstract: This thesis investigates the diversity and distributions of Coleoptera in northern North America. Beetles were sampled in Churchill, Manitoba, adding to the DNA barcode sequence library. While previous sampling efforts showed near-complete species coverage for this sub-arctic region, my new samples filled gaps in several under-sampled families (e.g. Staphylinidae). These new specimens along with publicly available records were then analyzed to investigate the influence of feeding strategy on species richness across temperature zones, using both non-phylogenetic and phylogenetic analysis methods. Predacious species were relatively more successful in colder zones than herbivores; in warmer zones, herbivores, fungivores, and predators were all successful. This thesis presents a unique macroecological analysis using a novel analysis pipeline written in R together with a large dataset of georeferenced DNA sequence data and temperature data, yielding new insights into the role of traits in structuring the latitudinal species diversity gradient.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14171
Date: 2018-07


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