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Ansaldi, B. H., Franks, S. J., & Weber, J. J. (2018). The influence of environmental factors on breeding system allocation at large spatial scales. AoB PLANTS, 10(6). doi:10.1093/aobpla/ply069 https://doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/ply069

Plant breeding systems can vary widely among populations, yet few studies have investigated abiotic factors contributing to variation across a broad geographic range. Here we investigate variation in reproductive traits of Triodanis perfoliata (Campanulaceae), a species that exhibits dimorphic cleis…

Milla, R., Bastida, J. M., Turcotte, M. M., Jones, G., Violle, C., Osborne, C. P., … Byun, C. (2018). Phylogenetic patterns and phenotypic profiles of the species of plants and mammals farmed for food. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(11), 1808–1817. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4

The origins of agriculture were key events in human history, during which people came to depend for their food on small numbers of animal and plant species. However, the biological traits determining which species were domesticated for food provision, and which were not, are unclear. Here, we invest…

Wan, J.-Z., Wang, C.-J., & Yu, F.-H. (2019). Large-scale environmental niche variation between clonal and non-clonal plant species: Roles of clonal growth organs and ecoregions. Science of The Total Environment, 652, 1071–1076. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.280 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.280

Clonal plant species can produce genetically identical and potentially independent offspring, and dominate a variety of habitats. The divergent evolutionary mechanisms between clonal and non-clonal plants are interesting areas of ecological research. A number of studies have shown that the environme…

Hoffmann, W. A., Flake, S. W., Abreu, R. C. R., Pilon, N. A. L., Rossatto, D. R., & Durigan, G. (2018). Rare frost events reinforce tropical savanna–forest boundaries. Journal of Ecology, 107(1), 468–477. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13047 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13047

1.The ability of vegetation to ameliorate or exacerbate environmental extremes can generate feedbacks that mediate the distribution of biomes. It has been suggested that feedbacks between vegetation and frost damage may be important for maintaining savanna, particularly at the edge of the tropics. 2…

Antonelli, A., Zizka, A., Carvalho, F. A., Scharn, R., Bacon, C. D., Silvestro, D., & Condamine, F. L. (2018). Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(23), 6034–6039. doi:10.1073/pnas.1713819115 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA, J.-A., NEILL, D. A., SHALISKO, V., ARROYO, F., & MERINO-SANTI, R. E. (2018). Magnolia mercedesiarum (subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae): a new Andean species from northern Ecuador, with insights into its potential distribution. Phytotaxa, 348(4), 254. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2

Magnolia mercedesiarum, a new species from the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador, is described and illustrated, and a key to Ecuadorian Magnolia (subsect. Talauma) is provided. This species differs from M. vargasiana in having broadly elliptic leaves that have an obtuse base vs. suborb…

Wan, J.-Z., & Wang, C.-J. (2018). Expansion risk of invasive plants in regions of high plant diversity: A global assessment using 36 species. Ecological Informatics, 46, 8–18. doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.04.004 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.04.004

Invasive plant species (IPS) have a high potential for expanding within biodiversity hotspots and threatening global plant diversity. Hence, it is urgent to assess the expansion risk of IPS in regions of high plant diversity and their potentially negative effects throughout the world. We used the wo…

Petersen, K. B., & Burd, M. (2018). The adaptive value of heterospory: Evidence from Selaginella . Evolution, 72(5), 1080–1091. doi:10.1111/evo.13484 https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13484

Heterospory was a pivotal evolutionary innovation for land plants, but it has never been clear why it evolved. We used the geographic distributions of 114 species of the heterosporous lycophyte Selaginella to explore the functional ecology of microspore and megaspore size, traits that would be corre…

Reichgelt, T., West, C. K., & Greenwood, D. R. (2018). The relation between global palm distribution and climate. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2

Fossil palms provide qualitative evidence of (sub-) tropical conditions and frost-free winters in the geological past, including modern cold climate regions (e.g., boreal, or polar climates). The freeze intolerance of palms varies across different organs and life stages, with seedlings in particular…

Jurd, D., & Pole, M. (2017). Miocene “fin-winged” fruits and Pliocene drift fruits – the first record of Combretaceae (Terminalia) from New Zealand. Geobios, 50(5-6), 423–429. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002

Two types of fossil Terminalia (Combretaceae) fruits are described from warmer periods in New Zealand’s past. One is represented by large ‘fin-winged’ fruit (samara) from the Early Miocene Manuherikia Group sediments of Bannockburn and the Nevis Valley. The form and size of the fruits are entirely u…