Climbing habit and ecophysiology of Schisandra glabra (Schisandraceae): implications for the early evolution of angiosperm lianescence

Feild, Taylor S., and Isnard, Sandrine (2013) Climbing habit and ecophysiology of Schisandra glabra (Schisandraceae): implications for the early evolution of angiosperm lianescence. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 174 (8). pp. 1121-1133.

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Evolutionary radiations in growth forms represented key events in the rise of early angiosperm success. However, understanding the directions of early angiosperm growth lability and the traits determining growth form innovations remain unclear. Lianescence appears to represent an early evolved direction of early angiosperm growth form experimentation, owing to occurrence of lianas in the extant, early diverging clade Austrobaileyales. Here we examine biomechanical and hydraulic ecophysiology of Schisandra glabra (Schisandraceae) in the context of its habitat and xylem form-function to test hypotheses about the functional performance of basal angiosperm lianescence. We found that S. glabra evolved much higher twist-bend flexibility, greater hydraulic efficiency, and capacity as compared to a nonclimbing relative from similar habitats, Illicium floridanum. However, lianescence was not associated with increased leaf photosynthetic capacity, drought tolerance, or a more cheaply constructed body plan. We found that a small number of stem structural shifts, involving primarily increases in cell sizes of vessels, tracheids, and the proportions of living tissues, were involved in exploration of the liana habit in the Austrobaileyales. Our results suggest that evolution of early angiosperm lianescence was potentially a relatively facile transition involving relatively small changes in xylem structure to achieve large change in stem biomechanical performance.

Item ID: 30194
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1537-5315
Keywords: angiosperm evolution, biomechanics, liana evolution, xylem hydraulics, xylem vessels
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: NSF Grant IOB-07141156
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2013 05:39
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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