Dimitrios Markou

McGill University
Candidat B.Sc.

superviseur(e): Jessica P. Gillung
Début: 2018-09-01
Fin: 2021-12-23


Evaluating the relationship between land restoration and phylogenetic diversity of plant-pollinator networks and its effect on ecosystem services in the Seychelles.
Biodiversity assessments have traditionally focused on the number of species per se in an area. The recent advance in methodological and computational methods has enabled the creation of high definition phylogenies, and biodiversity assessments have started to go beyond the sheer number of species by including species' phylogenetic diversity (PD). Moreover, the decrease in the PD of highly intensive agricultural landscapes has been associated with a reduction in both crop quality and crop yield. This research project will estimate and compare the PD of restored sites which were previously dominated by invasive plant species and disturbed sites to evaluate possible relationships between PD, seed set, and the subsequent output of ecosystem services. To do so, we hypothesize that land restoration contributes to increased pollinator PD within plant-pollinator networks and that the increase in PD, in turn, results in increased ecosystem services via seed production of the plants involved in the mutualistic interaction. To explore these hypotheses, we will use a published dataset of 64 plant-pollinator communities on the Island of Mahé of the Seychelles and publicly available DNA sequence data from GenBank. We will then estimate phylogenies using Bayesian Inference models, and PD using mean pairwise distance (MPD), and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD).


mutualism, network structure, network heterogeneity, nestedness, functional redundancy, richness, abundance, functional diversity, habitat fragmentation, plant-pollinator community