Title

Origin, Adaptive Radiation and Diversification of the Hawaiian Lobeliads (Asterales: Campanulaceae)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

2-7-2009

Abstract

The endemic Hawaiian lobeliads are exceptionally species rich and exhibit striking diversity in habitat, growth form, pollination biology and seed dispersal, but their origins and pattern of diversification remain shrouded in mystery. Up to five independent colonizations have been proposed based on morphological differences among extant taxa.We present a molecular phylogeny showing that the Hawaiian lobeliads are the product of one immigration event; that they are the largest plant clade on any single oceanic island or archipelago; that their ancestor arrived roughly 13 Myr ago; and that this ancestor was most likely woody, wind-dispersed, bird-pollinated, and adapted to open habitats at mid-elevations. Invasion of closed tropical forests is associated with evolution of fleshy fruits. Limited dispersal of such fruits in wet-forest understoreys appears to have accelerated speciation and led to a series of parallel adaptive radiations in Cyanea, with most species restricted to single islands. Consistency of Cyanea diversity across all tall islands except Hawai`i suggests that diversification of Cyanea saturates in less than 1.5 Myr. Lobeliad diversity appears to reflect a hierarchical adaptive radiation in habitat, then elevation and flower-tube length, and provides important insights into the pattern and tempo of diversification in a species-rich clade of tropical plants.

Comments

For complete list of authors, please see article.