We will do field work in selected places across the Pacific and in Southeastern Asia. All requisite collecting permits will be obtained (we already have a research permit for French Polynesia, where the inital work will occur). Specimens will be collected from across the ecological range of the family, both herbarium vouchers for morphological studies, and associated plants for DNA extraction and starting cultures. A GPS device (already owned by the University Herbarium) will be used to assign coordinates to all new specimens. Geographic Information Systems (such as ArcView) can then be used to store and map distirbutional information.
The genus Mitthyridium is distributed across the paleotropics from Africa through the South Pacific. Fieldwork in the eastern part of the range will be facilitated by our access to the UC Berkeley Gump Research Station on Moorea in the Society Islands. Mishler is a frequent visitor there, and has a good knowledge of the moss flora, resources, and terrain. Field work to the western part of the range will likewise be facilitated by our collaboration with Dr. Haji Mohamed at the University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Because Malaysia is in the center of diversity for this group, Wall will spend an extended period of time there carrying out detailed observations of the microdistribution of the different species in relation to various ecological factors. Similar intensive field studies will be undertaken by the second graduate student, once he/she has chosen and defined a specific subgroup of the family.
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