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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Rubio de Casas, Rafael [1], Mort, Mark [2], SOLTIS, PAMELA S. [3], Soltis, Douglas E. [4].

The influence of habitat on the evolution of plants: a case study across Saxifragales.

Saxifragales comprise 2470 species (1.2% of eudicots; a modest-sized angiosperm clade), half the size of the mammal clade. Saxifragales are hyper-diverse morphologically, more diverse than any angiosperm clade of similar size. They include trees, shrubs, lianas, annual and perennial herbs, succulents, and aquatics. Here we present an analysis of habitat evolution in Saxifragales using species level phylogenies and habitat data for ~950 spp. Results show a significant association between habitat and macroevolution. Lineages occurring in chaparral, and especially tundra and rock cliffs exhibit comparatively high diversification rates whereas grassland, desert and aquatic habitats contain only ancient, species-poor lineages and forest appears to be an evolutionary sink. Although habitat specialization seems to be the norm, lineages from more extreme environments are more likely to expand their range into milder habitats in general and forest in particular than the opposite. Our results also suggest that most diversification occurs within the ancestral ecological conditions and therefore that niche conservatism may be prevalent in the clade  (i.e. niche conservatism may be a guiding principle). In addition, the evolution of some habitat types (e.g. aquatic, desert), may be canalizing events that lineages do not escape Overall, the data reveal that habitat shifts are very rare and therefore any major environmental alteration, such as climate change, will have dramatic evolutionary consequences.

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1 - Universidad de Granada , Departamento de Ecologia, Granada, Spain
2 - University Of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS, 66045, USA
3 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
4 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611

habitat evolution

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 44
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 44003
Abstract ID:463
Candidate for Awards:None

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