Variation and macroevolution in leaf functional traits in the Hawaiian silversword alliance (Asteraceae)

Benjamin Blonder, Bruce G. Baldwin, Brian Enquist, Robert H Robichaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hawaiian silversword alliance is a spectacular example of plant adaptive radiation. The lineage includes 33 species in three endemic genera (Argyroxiphium, Dubautia and Wilkesia) that occupy almost all major habitats of the Hawaiian archipelago. Here, we quantitatively explore functional diversification in the lineage by linking measurements of multiple leaf functional traits with climate niche and phylogenetic data. We show that leaf functional trait variation (i) spans much of the global angiosperm range, (ii) is best explained by a white-noise evolutionary model and (iii) is integrated in ways consistent with both the global leaf economics spectrum and the predictions of leaf venation network theory. Our results highlight the importance of functional diversification and integration in rapidly evolving plant lineages. They also provide compelling additional support for the view that the Hawaiian silversword alliance is one of the world's premier examples of adaptive radiation in plants. The Hawaiian silversword alliance includes 33 species in three endemic genera (Argyroxiphium, Dubautia, and Wilkesia) that occupy almost all major habitats of the Hawaiian archipelago (top row). We show that leaf functional trait variation in the lineage spans much of the global angiosperm range, is best explained by a white-noise evolutionary model, and is integrated in ways consistent with both the global leaf economics spectrum and the predictions of leaf venation network theory (bottom row). The results provide compelling support for the view that the silversword alliance is one of the world's premier examples of adaptive radiation in plants. Journal of Ecology

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume104
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Adaptive radiation
  • Climate niche
  • Ecophysiology
  • Functional trait
  • Silversword alliance
  • Vein density
  • Vein elongation index
  • Venation network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

Cite this