Biodiversity informatics and macroecological patterns of biodiversity: Uruguay as a model region

Grattarola, Florencia (2020) Biodiversity informatics and macroecological patterns of biodiversity: Uruguay as a model region. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Biodiversity informatics and macroecological patterns of biodiversity: Uruguay as a model region
PhD Thesis
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Abstract

Biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates in a rapidly changing world in which most
species remain to be discovered. Thus, it is essential that countries generate mechanisms to
quantitatively measure biodiversity and monitor its changes. Uruguay, in particular, covers a
peculiar area where multiple bioregions of South America converge geographically, potentially
driving unique biodiversity hotspots that result from the biogeographic connection of multiple
bioregions. However, whether such hotspots exist in this country remains an open question,
given the exceptionally limited knowledge about larger-scale biodiversity patterns. Although
efforts have been made to document the distribution of biodiversity in Uruguay, comprehensive
studies across the tree of life are limited and have received less attention. The aim of this study
was to use Uruguay as a model region to quantify the patterns and processes of biodiversity
across the Tree of Life. A key finding was to reveal that a strong sampling bias has historically
affected the reconstruction of diversity patterns across all taxonomic groups in Uruguay.
Therefore, it is not possible to draw definite conclusions as to whether the patterns of
biodiversity we observe are real or fabricated by tactical sampling practices. This study
highlights the critical knowledge shortfall situation in which Uruguay stands and, at the same
time, suggests a first approach and a path to transit to start tackling this issue. Every finding in
our study is a critical step towards the ambition to start a scientific quantification of biodiversity
in this country, to provide a resource for organisations and scientists, and to raise awareness at
the government level.

Keywords:biodiversity, ecology, South America, Uruguay
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:48514
Deposited On:10 Mar 2022 14:47

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