Angiosperms; palaeobotany; plant functional traits; Angiosperm; radiation; diversification; palaeobotany; plant functional traits; Cenozoic; global change
Onstein R.E., Linder H.P. (2016), Beyond climate: convergence in fast evolving sclerophylls in Cape and Australian Rhamnaceae predates the mediterranean climate, in Journal of Ecology
, 104, 665-677.
Renske R.E., Jordan G.J., Sauquet H., Weston P.H., Bouchenak-Khelladi Y., Carpenter R.J., Linder H.P. (2016), Evolutionary radiations of Proteaceae are triggered by the interaction between traits and climates in open habitats, in Global Ecology and Biogeography
, 25(10), 1239-1251.
Linder H.P., Bouchenak-Khelladi Y. (2015), The causes of southern African spatial patterns in species richness: speciation, extinction and dispersal in the Danthonioideae (Poaceae), in Journal of Biogeography
, 42, 914-924.
Xing Yaowu, Gandolfo Maria A., Linder H.P. (2015), The Cenozoic biogeographical evolution of woody angiosperms inferred from fossil distributions, in Global Ecology and Biogeography
, 24, 1290-1301.
Bouchenak-Khelladi Y., Muthama A.M., Linder H.P. (2014), A revised evolutionary history of Poales: origins and diversification, in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
, 175(1), 4-16.
Onstein Renske E., Carter Richard J., Xing Yaowu, Linder H. Peter (2014), Diversification rate shifts in the Cape Floristic Region: The right traits in the right place at the right time, in Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
, 16(6), 331-340.
Bouchenak-Khelladi Yanis, Muasya Abraham Muthama, Linder Hans Peter (2013), A revised evolutionary history of Poales: Origins and diversification, in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
, 175(1), 4-16.
Xing Yaowu, Onstein Renske E., Carter Richard J., Stadler Tanja, Linder Hans Peter (2013), Fossils and a large molecular phylogeny show that the evolution of species richness, generic diversity, and turnover rates are disconnected, in Evolution
, 68(10), 2821-2832.
Schwery Orlando, Onstein Renske E., Bouchenak-Khelladi Y., Xing Yaowu, Carter Richard J., Linder H Peter, As old as the mountains: the radiations of the Ericaceae, in New Phytologist
Onstein Renske E., Carter Richard J., Xing Yaowu, Richardson James, Linder H Peter, Do Mediterranean-type Ecosystems have a common history? - Insights from the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae), in Evolution
Bouchenak-Khelladi Y., Onstein Renske E., Xing Yaowu, Schwery Orlando, Linder H Peter, On the complexity of triggering evolutionary radiations, in New Phytologist
Linder H Peter, Bouchenak-Khelladi Y., The causes of southern African spatial patterns in species richness: speciation, extinction and dispersal in the Danthonioideae (Poaceae), in Journal of Biogeography
This project will address a long standing evolutionary question: why do some groups of organisms diversify into many species, while diversification is much slower in other groups, times and places? We will attempt to answer this question by using one of the most diverse and ecologically dominant groups of all organisms. The Angiosperms have a standing diversity of some 400,000 species, but this diversity is very unevenly distributed, both spatially and phylogenetically. Almost 10 years ago it was demonstrated that some clades (in the Asterids, Rosids and Monocots) have diversified significantly faster than the average, while many of the more early diverging lineages show significant slowdowns in their diversification rates (Magallón & Sanderson 2001). We want to address the issue of why and when these discrepancies in clade diversity evolved. In the past much emphasis was laid on intrinsic attributes (key innovations, such as the evolution of the herbaceous habit), that have been related to the reproductive attributes of the plants. Here we develop the hypothesis that accelerated, or retarded, evolution of species richness could be related to the interaction between the vegetative functional traits of the plants and the available habitats. We suggest that when a suitable habitat for a clade with a specific set of functional traits becomes available, the clade may radiate into this habitat. And when this habitat is lost, the clade is correspondingly reduced in diversity. This suggests a close relationship between the plant functional types, palaeo-environmental change, and diversification rates.We propose to test this hypothesis with a global analysis of the Angiosperms. By including all Angiosperms we maximize the number of events which we can investigate, and maximise our ability to make generalisations. However, we will restrict the investigation to the Cenozoic, as we are primarily interested in the evolution of species richness, rather than phylogenetic diversity. Our investigation has three steps. In the first step we will identify the clades that display significant accelerations or slowdowns in their diversification rates. We will do this by calculating a global diversification rate, and locating clades that deviate significant from this rate. In the second step we will infer the plant functional traits (or plant functional types, PFT) of each clade, thus determining whether clades with particular functional traits show significant rate accelerations or slowdowns. We test whether the trait / rate shift association changes through the Cenozoic. Finally we will correlate changes in rates of diversification and their associated PFTs with the plant and climate evolutionary history as inferred from the fossil and geochemical record. If our hypothesis is correct, then clades that radiated after the Eocene should have functional traits associated with climatic seasonality, drought, and low CO2 levels. Clades with functional traits associated with warm, non-seasonal wet climates should have radiated before the Oligocene, and should have suffered a “slowdown” after the Eocene. In order to ensure that this is not all speculation, we will link the plant clades (especially those that display significant rate shifts) to the fossil sites from which they are recorded and their palaeoenviroments. This constitutes a form of “ground truthing” the non-fossil based inference of plant evolutionary history, and can be used to test the dating of the events, the inferred palaeoclimates, and in some cases even the plant functional traits. This project will test the radical new concept that we can interpret modern Angiosperm diversity as the result of numerous radiations by clades with the appropriate functional traits to exploit new habitats, which may have been created by climate change or orogenetic processes during the Cenozoic.