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Biodiversity synthesis across the green branches of the tree of life


Advances in biodiversity science, coupled with new technologies and big data platforms, are expanding our ability to explore and understand the natural world. For the first time, biologists can link data from growing repositories and computational approaches to better integrate plant evolution and ecology at the broadest extents. The emerging synthesis is reshaping our views of plant diversification and guiding new approaches to conservation.

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We would like to thank J. Cavender-Bares for helpful comments and commentary. This work was supported in part by the US National Science Foundation (grant nos. EF-1115210, DBI-1547229, DBI-1458640, DEB-1442280 and DEB-1208809), the US Department of Energy (grant no. DE-SC0018247), and a seed grant from the University of Florida Biodiversity and Informatics Institutes.

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All authors contributed in writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Douglas E. Soltis or Robert P. Guralnick.

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Fig. 1: A diagram showing how global biodiversity data resources can be used to develop synthetic analyses to better understand the pattern and processes behind the assembly of modern-day plant communities.