Cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae: biogeographic variation and abiotic natural selection

Griffith, M. Patrick, Noblick, Larry R., Dowe, John L., Husby, Chad E., and Calonje, Michael A. (2008) Cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae: biogeographic variation and abiotic natural selection. Annals of Botany, 102 (4). pp. 591-598.

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Background and Aims: Consistent abiotic factors can affect directional selection; cyclones are abiotic phenomena with near-discrete geographic limits. The current study investigates selective pressure of cyclones on plants at the species level, testing for possible natural selection.

Methods: New World Arecaceae (palms) are used as a model system, as plants with monopodial, unbranched arborescent form are most directly affected by the selective pressure of wind load. Living specimens of known provenance grown at a common site were affected by the same cyclone. Data on percentage mortality were compiled and analysed in biogeographic and phylogenetic contexts.

Key Results: Palms of cyclone-prone provenance exhibited a much lower (one order of magnitude) range in cyclone tolerance, and significantly lower (P < 0.001) mean percentage mortality than collections from cyclone-free areas. Palms of cyclone-free provenance had much greater variation in tolerance, and significantly greater mean percentage mortality. A test for serial independence recovered no significant phylogenetic autocorrelation of percentage mortality.

Conclusions: Variation in cyclone tolerance in New World Arecaceae correlates with biogeography, and is not confounded with phylogeny. These results suggest natural selection of cyclone tolerance in cyclone-prone areas.

Item ID: 5749
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8290
Keywords: abiotic selection; biogeography; phylogenetic independence; Arecaceae; cyclone; hurricanes
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2009 04:04
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 49%
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