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Evolving the structure: Climatic and developmental constraints on the evolution of plant architecture. A case study in Euphorbia

Abstract : Plant architecture strongly influences ecological performance, yet its role in plant evolution has been weakly explored. By testing both phylogenetic and environmental signals, it is possible to separate architectural traits into four categories: development constraints (phylogenetic signal only); convergences (environmental dependency only); key confluences to the environmental driver (both); unknown (neither). We analysed the evolutionary history of the genus Euphorbia, a model clade with both high architectural diversity and a wide environmental range. We conducted comparative analyses of 193 Euphorbia species worldwide using 73 architectural traits, a dated phylogeny, and climate data. We identified 14 architectural types in Euphorbia based on trait combinations. We found 22 traits and three types representing convergences under climate groups; 21 traits and four types showing phylogenetic signal but no relation to climate; and 16 traits and five types with both climate and phylogenetic signals. Major drivers of architectural trait evolution likely include water stress in deserts (selected for succulence, continuous branching), frost disturbance in temperate systems (selected for simple, prostrate, short‐lived shoots) and light competition (selected for arborescence). Simple architectures allowed resilience to disturbance, and frequent transitions into new forms. Complex architectures with functional specialisation developed under stable climates but have low evolvability.
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https://hal.sorbonne-universite.fr/hal-03180847
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 11:53:09 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 3:08:12 PM

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Artémis Anest, Tristan Charles‐dominique, Olivier Maurin, Mathieu Millan, Claude Edelin, et al.. Evolving the structure: Climatic and developmental constraints on the evolution of plant architecture. A case study in Euphorbia. New Phytologist, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1111/nph.17296⟩. ⟨hal-03180847⟩

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