Abstract Detail



Ericaceae: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution

Potter, Benjamin [1].

Ericaceae: Systematics, Ecology and Evolution.

The family Ericaceae comprises c. 125 genera in 24 tribes and more than 4400 species. It is a highly diverse group of ecologically and economically important woody plants, such as Erica, Rhododendron, and Vaccinium. The family has a global distribution, and occurs from sea level to 5000m+ in elevation. Members of the family often grow in acidic, nutrient-poor and nitrogen-limiting soils, and are dominant elements in cloud forests, heathlands and boreal regions. Their ability to succeed and diversify in such conditions is partly due to their distinctive association with several types of mycorrhizae. Such association may facilitate the evolution of mycoheterotrophism, which has evolved at least twice in the family. Major evolutionary radiations within Ericaceae have occurred in montane areas of the Andes, Australasia, Malesian archipelago, South Africa, and Himalayas; these are represented by increased speciation rates in Erica, Gaultheria, Rhododendron, Richeeae, Rhodoreae, and Vaccinieae. In these species-rich groups, a variety of morphological features have evolved, such as bird pollination and/or tubular flowers, fleshy fruits, xeromorphic leaves and epiphytic habit. In this, our 3rd annual colloquium on the topic, we will aim to showcase an overview of current research in systematics, ecology and evolution of Ericaceae. Moreover, we aim to assemble and discuss ongoing research across different aspects and taxonomic levels in Ericaceae, and explore future research directions. Relevance:


1 - University of Auckland, School of Biological Sciences, Thomas Building, 3a Symonds Street, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

Keywords:
Ericaceae
systematics
evolution
molecular phylogenetics
ecology.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number:
Abstract ID:42
Candidate for Awards:None


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