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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Sack, Lawren [1], Scoffoni, Christine [1], Barron, Rebecca [2], Frole, Kristen [3], Zanne, Amy E. [4].

The evolution of maple leaf diversity.

Species of maple (Acer, Sapindaceae) are highly variable in leaf form, e.g., ranging from compound to simple leaves and in shape from entire to 11 lobes. We determined the variation, phylogenetic signal and evolutionary coordination of over 50 traits relating to size, shape, nutrient composition, venation architecture and stomatal anatomy, for well-illuminated leaves of 30 maple tree species of North America, Europe and Asia, grown in a common garden (Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University). Previous studies have suggested trait correlations and trade-offs that would simplify the understanding of adaptation, with these relationships being supported for phylogenetically diverse suites of species sampled across communities. Across the maple species, we observed strong variation among traits in their phylogenetic signal across the lineage. We found novel, tight relationships among traits within clusters related to leaf size, or shape, or composition, or venation, or stomatal anatomy. However, we found impressive evolutionary independence among these trait clusters. The independence of leaf trait clusters results in the possibility of many trait configurations in leaf form even among species similar in habitat and successional stage (e.g., pioneer or shade-establishing). This evolutionary flexibility potentiated the rich total diversity in maple leaf form. This work provides insights into the genetic basis for leaf traits, and highlights the necessity for mechanistic understanding of how multiple leaf traits contribute to integrated function, during adaptation within and across habitats.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of California, Los Angeles, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 621 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA
2 - Harvard University, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Biological Laboratories , 16 Divinity Avenue , Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
3 - University of Hawaii, Botany Department, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822
4 - University of Missouri St. Louis, Biology Department, 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63121, USA

leaf traits
venation architecture
leaf morphology.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 5
Location: 554A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 5004
Abstract ID:586

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