Alternative models of evolutionary processes suggest different associations between species diversification and trait evolution, but limited empirical evidence is available to test these models across large clades at global extents. Here we investigate the relative timing of species diversification and niche and phenotypic evolution across a global plant radiation (Saxifragales) with enormous phenotypic and habitat variation. We demonstrate strong temporal lags among rates, with increased diversification occurring first, followed by niche and phenotype. Accelerated diversification rates are coincident with mid-Miocene expansion of temperate biomes. Later increases in niche and phenotypic evolutionary rates argue against density-dependent diversification alone, indicating a major role for ecological opportunity. These results have broad implications for understanding diversification processes and the origin of present-day temperate biotas.
Former lab member Richie Hodel was awarded the Florida Museum’s Austin Award for Research! Congrats Richie!
Toward a large-scale and deep phenological stage annotation of herbarium specimens: Case studies from temperate, tropical, and equatorial florasMarch 29th, 2019
Divergent gene expression levels between diploid and autotetraploid Tolmiea relative to the total transcriptome, the cell, and biomass.February 19th, 2019
Visger, C. J., G. K.-S. Wong, Y. Zhang, P. S. Soltis, and D. E. Soltis. 2019. Divergent gene expression levels between diploid and autotetraploid Tolmiea relative to the total transcriptome, the cell, and biomass. American Journal of Botany [View on publisher’s site]
A chromosomal-scale genome assembly of Tectona grandis reveals the importance of tandem gene duplication and enables discovery of genes in natural product biosynthetic pathways.February 13th, 2019
Allen, J. M., R. A. Folk, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, and R. P. Guralnick. 2019. Biodiversity synthesis across the green branches of the tree of life. Nature Plants 5:11. [View on Publisher’s site]