Event Title

Phylogenetics and Niche Evolution in Members of the Four O'clock Family, Abronia and Tripterocalyx

Location

King Building 241

Start Date

4-27-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 4:20 PM

Abtract

Abronia and Tripterocalyx are closely related genera in the four o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae) with centers of diversity in the western US, and are herbaceous perennials or annuals with umbellate inflorescences whose seeds are dispersed by distinctive large wings on the fruits. While all four species of Tripterocalyx live on sandy soils, the approximately 20 species of Abronia grow on a wide variety of substrates such as sand, gypsum, and clay. Because of the wide diversity in this group of plants, Abronia species can occur in nearly every ecosystem in the western US, including high-elevation alpine environments, coastal beaches, warm deserts, the Colorado Plateau, and east and south Texas. To understand the evolution of these species, we have constructed a phylogeny using chloroplast and nuclear gene regions to map the relationships of these species, and through a computer program, have reconstructed how traits such as soil preference and lifespan may have evolved as well as the biogeography.

Keywords:

plants, evolution, phylogenetics, gypsum

Notes

Session V, Panel 14 - Ecological | Interactions
Moderator: Roger Laushman, Associate Professor of Biology and David Orr Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Major

Biology

Advisor(s)

Mary Garvin, Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Michael Moore, Biology

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Apr 27th, 3:00 PM Apr 27th, 4:20 PM

Phylogenetics and Niche Evolution in Members of the Four O'clock Family, Abronia and Tripterocalyx

King Building 241

Abronia and Tripterocalyx are closely related genera in the four o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae) with centers of diversity in the western US, and are herbaceous perennials or annuals with umbellate inflorescences whose seeds are dispersed by distinctive large wings on the fruits. While all four species of Tripterocalyx live on sandy soils, the approximately 20 species of Abronia grow on a wide variety of substrates such as sand, gypsum, and clay. Because of the wide diversity in this group of plants, Abronia species can occur in nearly every ecosystem in the western US, including high-elevation alpine environments, coastal beaches, warm deserts, the Colorado Plateau, and east and south Texas. To understand the evolution of these species, we have constructed a phylogeny using chloroplast and nuclear gene regions to map the relationships of these species, and through a computer program, have reconstructed how traits such as soil preference and lifespan may have evolved as well as the biogeography.