Don Kaplan - his legacy: Influencing teaching and research
Diggle, Pamela K. .
Architectural effects and the evolution of floral form and function.
The modular or metameric nature of plant growth has had profound consequences for the ways in which morphology has been studied and characterized. Because plants appear to be constructed of repeated units, we tend to think of these units as inherently similar. I argue that the default assumption, that plant metamers are similar, is in error, and that understanding the sources of variation among metamers is critical to understanding plant morphology and morphological diversification. I will focus on the morphology and function of flowers and demonstrate that features of the corolla, androecium, and/or gynoecium typically show significant intra-inflorescence variation that is attributable to flower position alone. A pattern of proximal to distal decline in size or mass of organs is most common, however increases also occur. Moreover, the different organ whorls within a flower can vary independently of one another, leading to dramatic changes in floral function within inflorescences. Such positional variation can confound analyses of floral development, morphology, and function. Perhaps more importantly, however, such variation also may be the “raw material” for more pronounced intra-inflorescence diversification, such as that observed in monoecious taxa, or in syn-organized inflorescences.
1 - University of Colorado, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCB 334, Boulder, Colorado, 80309-0334, USA
form and function
Presentation Type: Symposium
Location: Ballroom 2 (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 10:40 AM