Journal Article

Phylogenetic analysis reveals a scattered distribution of autumn colours

Marco Archetti

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 5, pages 703-713
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn259
Phylogenetic analysis reveals a scattered distribution of autumn colours

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background and Aims

Leaf colour in autumn is rarely considered informative for taxonomy, but there is now growing interest in the evolution of autumn colours and different hypotheses are debated. Research efforts are hindered by the lack of basic information: the phylogenetic distribution of autumn colours. It is not known when and how autumn colours evolved.

Methods

Data are reported on the autumn colours of 2368 tree species belonging to 400 genera of the temperate regions of the world, and an analysis is made of their phylogenetic relationships in order to reconstruct the evolutionary origin of red and yellow in autumn leaves.

Key Results

Red autumn colours are present in at least 290 species (70 genera), and evolved independently at least 25 times. Yellow is present independently from red in at least 378 species (97 genera) and evolved at least 28 times.

Conclusions

The phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that autumn colours have been acquired and lost many times during evolution. This scattered distribution could be explained by hypotheses involving some kind of coevolutionary interaction or by hypotheses that rely on the need for photoprotection.

Keywords: Autumn colour; leaf colour; comparative analysis; coevolution; photoprotection; phylogenetic analysis

Journal Article.  3878 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.