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   Location:Home > Research > Research Divisions > Center for Integrative Conservation
Macroevolution Group
Update time: 2017-03-13
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Head of the Group: Prof. Dr. Harald Schneider


E-mail: harald@xtbg.ac.cn


The research team “Macroevolution” is located at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG, http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/), a research institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Our research covers a wide range of topics concerning the past and future of plant diversity explored by employing a macroevolutionary perspective. The research objectives range from (1) documenting the history of the accumulation of biodiversity, (2) uncovering the mechanism shaping the response of lineages to changing environments especially what defines the evolvability of plant lineages, and (3) predicting the future of the tree-of-life in a world increasingly shaped by humanity (anthropocene). The research group has a strong background in the study of seed-free land plants (ferns, liverworts), integration of fossil evidence, and innovative approaches that employs state-of-the-art approaches.


The research vision involves the perspective to apply phylogenetic research not only in the documentation of the past but also as a tool to manage the conservation of biodiversity resources. To achieve this, the research team is in the process to establish a highly innovative research program. This process requires the identification of the mechanisms shaping the distinct response of different plant lineages to environmental change.


The research group has access to state-of-the-art research facilities including equipment to carry out phylogenomic studies and evolutionary cytology and morphology. We have also access to growth facilities and an extensive network of established fieldwork sites. The research team is embedded in a well-developed international research network involving collaborations with research teams around the globe.


Publications [out of more than 170 publication, selection of those most relevant to the proposal published within the last five years]:    

  Clark J, Hidalgo O, Pellicer J, Liu H, Marquardt J, Robert Y, Christenhusz M, Zhang SZ, Gibby M, Leitch IJ, Schneider H 2016 Genome evolution of ferns: evidence for relative stasis of genome size across the fern phylogeny. New Phytologist 210: 1072-1082 [corresponding author] doi:10.1111/nph.13833  

  Schneider H 2016 Tempo and mode in the evolution of morphological disparity in the Neotropical fern genus Pleopeltis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 118: 929—939 [first author] doi: 10.1111/bij.12774.  

  Schneider H, Schmidt AR, Heinrichs J 2016 Burmese amber fossils bridge the gap in the Cretaceous record of polypod ferns. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 18: 70-78 [first author] doi: 10.1916/j.ppees.2016.01.003  

  The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group 2016 A community -derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 54: 563-603. [Leading author initiating the project & corresponding author] don: 10.1111/jse.12229  

  Schneider H, Li HM, Clark J, Hidalgo O, Pellicer J, Zhang SZ, Kelly LJ, Fay MF, Leitch IJ 2015 Are the genomes of royal ferns really frozen in time? Evidence for coinciding genome stability and limited evolvability in the royal ferns. New Phytologist 207: 10-13. [first author] doi: 10.1111/nph.13330  

  Schneider H, Schmidt AR, Nascimbene PC, Heirnichs J 2015 A new Dominican amber fossil fo the derived fern genus Pleopeltis confirms generic stasis in the epjphytic fern diversity of the West Indies. Organsims, Diversity, Evolution 15: 227-283. Doi: 10.1007/s13127-015-0220-3   

  Laenen B, Shaw B, Schneider H, Goffinet B, Paradis E, Desamore A, Heinrichs J, Villareal SR, McDaniel SF, Long DG, Forrest LL, Holingsworth ML, Crandall-Stotler B, Davis EC, Engel J, von Konrat M, Cooper ED, Patino J, Cox CJ, Vanderpoorten A, Shaw AJ 2014 Extant diversity of bryophytes emerged from successive post-Mesozoic diversification bursts. Nature Communications 5: 5134. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms6134  

  Feldberg K, Schneider H, Stadler T, Schaefer-Verwimp A, Schmidt AR, Heinrichs J, 2014 Epiphytic leafy liverworts diversified in angiosperm-dominated forests. Scientific Reports 4: 5974. doi: 10.10138/srep05974.  

  Dyer JR, Pellicer J, Savolainen V, Leitch IJ, Schneider H 2013 Genome size expansion and the relationship between nuclear DNA content and spore size in the Asplenium monanthes fern complex (Aspleniaceae). BMC Plant Biology 13: 219. Doi: 1471-2229/13/219. [senior author]  

  Byrstiakova, N, Schneider H, Coomes D 2011 Evolution of the climatic niche in scaly tree ferns (Cyatheceae, Polypodiopsida). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 165: 1-19.  



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