Dodd, Michael E.; Silvertown, Jonathan and Chase, Mark W.
Phylogenetic analysis of trait evolution and species diversity variation among angiosperm families.
Evolution, 53(3) pp. 732–744.
Angiosperm families differ greatly from one another in species richness (S). Previous studies have attributed significant components of this variation to the influence of pollination mode (biotic/abiotic) and growth form (herbaceous/woody) on speciation rate, but these results suffer difficulties of interpretation because all the studies ignored the phylogenetic relationships among families. We use a molecular phylogeny of the angiosperm families to reanalyse correlations between S and family-level traits and use reconstructions of trait evolution to interpret the results. We confirm that pollination mode and growth form are correlated with S and show that the majority of changes in pollination mode involved a change from biotic to abiotic pollination with an associated fall in speciation rate. The majority of growth form changes involved the evolution of herbaceousness from woodiness with a correlated rise in speciation rate. We test the hypothesis of Ricklefs and Renner (1994) that "evolutionary flexibility" rather than other trait changes triggered increased speciation rates in some families, but find little support for the hypothesis.
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