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Abstract Detail

The Scientific Research of Barry Tomlinson

Horn, James W. [1], Fisher, Jack B. [2], Tomlinson, P. Barry [3].

Anatomy, systematics, and evolution of the fan palms and relatives (Arecaceae: Coryphoideae).

In 1961, Barry Tomlinson published the first of his many books—the second volume in the Anatomy of the Monocotyledons series, which was devoted to the palm family (Palmae, Arecaceae). Little must he have realized back then that almost 50 years later he would revisit the subject matter that occasioned such youthful brashness. This time, however, two colleagues from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden joined Barry in researching the comparative anatomy of palms. The forthcoming book, The Anatomy of Palms, represents the culmination of this collaboration. Here we present an overview of the portion of the book regarding the systematic anatomy of the subfamily Coryphoideae (8 tribes; 46 genera; ~500 species). This clade contains the majority of palmate-leaved palms, but also the pinnate date palms (Phoenix) and the fishtail palms and relatives (Caryoteae). Coryphoideae are characterized by at least four leaf anatomical synapomorphies, which are: 1) vascular bundles of the adaxial series of ribs (in the undivided portion of the lamina) independent, not enclosed within a sclerotic cylinder; 2) septate fibers; 3) absence of bundles nonvascular fibres free of surfaces; and 4) transverse veins sheathed by many layers of fibers. In the context of the most recent molecular phylogenetic information developed for the subfamily, many major clades within Coryphoideae also have anatomical synapomorphies. Notable among these is the occurrence of bundles of thick-walled fibres that are accompanied by stegmata (‘Raphia’ type cortical fibers) in the roots of members of the clade containing tribes Caryoteae, Corypheae, and Borasseae (and with a limited distribution outside of this group). This clade is otherwise among the most structurally heterogenous groups within the family, containing palms of strongly contrasted physiognomy and anatomy. In addition to highlighting the phylogenetic significance of our results, we will present an overview of the range of anatomical variation present in Coryphoideae, illuminated by many of the color photos included in the new book.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Smithsonian Institution, Botany, National Museum of Natural History, MRC 0166, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012, USA
2 - Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, 11935 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, FL, 33156-4242
3 - Harvard University, Harvard Forest, Po Box 68, Petersham, Massachusetts, 01366, USA

character evolution.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY7
Location: 552A/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: SY7003
Abstract ID:738

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