Publication Abstracts

Davies et al. 2013

Davies, T.J., E.M. Wolkovich, N.J.B. Kraft, N. Salamin, J.M. Allen, T.R. Ault, J.L. Betancourt, K. Bolmgren, E.E. Cleland, B.I. Cook, T.M. Crimmins, S.J. Mazer, G.J. McCabe, S. Pau, J. Regetz, M.D. Schwartz, and S.E. Travers, 2013: Phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology. J. Ecol., 101, 1520-1530, doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12154.

Phenological events — defined points in the life cycle of a plant or animal — have been regarded as highly plastic traits, reflecting flexible responses to various environmental cues. The ability of a species to track, via shifts in phenological events, the abiotic environment through time might dictate its vulnerability to future climate change. Understanding the predictors and drivers of phenological change is therefore critical. Here, we evaluated evidence for phylogenetic conservatism — the tendency for closely related species to share similar ecological and biological attributes — in phenological traits across flowering plants. We aggregated published and unpublished data on timing of first flower and first leaf, encompassing ∼4000 species at 23 sites across the Northern Hemisphere. We reconstructed the phylogeny for the set of included species, first, using the software program Phylomatic, and second, from DNA data. We then quantified phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology within and across sites. We show that more closely related species tend to flower and leaf at similar times. By contrasting mean flowering times within and across sites, however, we illustrate that it is not the time of year that is conserved, but rather the phenological responses to a common set of abiotic cues. Our findings suggest that species cannot be treated as statistically independent when modelling phenological responses.

Closely related species tend to resemble each other in the timing of their life-history events, a likely product of evolutionarily conserved responses to environmental cues. The search for the underlying drivers of phenology must therefore account for species' shared evolutionary histories.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Davies, T. J. and Wolkovich, E. M. and Kraft, N. J. B. and Salamin, N. and Allen, J. M. and Ault, T. R. and Betancourt, J. L. and Bolmgren, K. and Cleland, E. E. and Cook, B. I. and Crimmins, T. M. and Mazer, S. J. and McCabe, G. J. and Pau, S. and Regetz, J. and Schwartz, M. D. and Travers, S. E.},
  title={Phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology},
  journal={J. Ecol.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - da09100r
AU  - Davies, T. J.
AU  - Wolkovich, E. M.
AU  - Kraft, N. J. B.
AU  - Salamin, N.
AU  - Allen, J. M.
AU  - Ault, T. R.
AU  - Betancourt, J. L.
AU  - Bolmgren, K.
AU  - Cleland, E. E.
AU  - Cook, B. I.
AU  - Crimmins, T. M.
AU  - Mazer, S. J.
AU  - McCabe, G. J.
AU  - Pau, S.
AU  - Regetz, J.
AU  - Schwartz, M. D.
AU  - Travers, S. E.
PY  - 2013
TI  - Phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology
JA  - J. Ecol.
VL  - 101
SP  - 1520
EP  - 1530
DO  - 10.1111/1365-2745.12154
ER  -

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