Abstract Detail


Young, Sophie [1], Stevens, Carly [1], Lundgren, Marjorie [1].

The Biogeography of Photosynthetically Diverse Euphorbiaceae Trees.

The Euphorbiaceae family, and the genus Euphorbia in particular, is remarkably morphologically and photosynthetically diverse. It spans growth forms from herbs to xerophytic stem succulents to trees of up to 30m in height, and includes diverse species utilising C3, C2, C4, and CAM types of photosynthesis. The lineage of Euphorbia that contains plants using C4 photosynthesis is the largest C4 lineage found among the eudicots, and contains the only true C4 trees. These C4 trees are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, where they diversified from an herbaceous ancestor following a single colonisation event. In addition to these unique C4 trees, Euphorbia also contains CAM and C3 trees, with some of these C3 tree species also present on the Hawaiian islands. Previous studies of Euphorbia trees found that they grow across a broad range of latitudes and biomes globally, occupying a range of environments from arid shrublands to wet forest understories. This study will present the geographical and ecological distributions of these photosynthetically diverse trees, using the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) occurrence data and global environmental and soil raster datasets. Key biogeographic factors that determine the distribution of these photosynthetically diverse tree species will be discussed within a phylogenetic framework to reveal factors that may have shaped the photosynthetic fate of each lineage. For the first time, our study distinguishes the ecological factors that support photosynthetic diversification in the tree life form. These findings will help to inform ongoing research into why C4 trees are so rare, and how the geography and ecology of the Hawaiian Islands have influenced the diversification of C4 trees in Euphorbia.

Related Links:
Penstemon database website
Wolfe Lab Website

1 - Lancaster University, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, UK

C4 photosynthesis
Hawaiian Islands.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Biogeography Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PBG010
Abstract ID:671
Candidate for Awards:None

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