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Title: Systematics, biogeography and studies of floral evolution in Gesneriaceae
Author: Luna Castro, Javier Alejandro
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 2514
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2017
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Understanding the processes that have affected the diversification of herbaceous plants is fundamental to understand how flowering plants evolve, how ecosystems form and to predict the effect of climate change and geological events in plant communities. Aiming to create a strong phylogenetic framework where biogeographic and morphological hypothesis can be tested a higher level dated phylogeny of Gesneriaceae was produced. Gesneriaceae is a good study group as it has variable floral morphology, a broad distribution throughout the tropics and subtropics - represented in all non-arid tropical and subtropical hotspots of biodiversity. There are evident differences between lineages in the numbers of species, and it is comparatively well studied compared with other asterid families. In this study a consolidated taxonomic hypothesis of Gesneriaceae is suggested based on a genus level phylogeny, the ages of the main lineages of the family are presented, the effect of geological events are explored, the geographic origin of lineages are suggested and an insight into the effect of floral morphology on the evolution of the family is given. Limiting the taxonomic scope and focusing on a single family should help us better understand how flowering plants diversify.
Supervisor: Kidner, Catherine ; Richardson, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gesneriaceae ; plant diversification ; biogeography ; morphological evolution ; plant evolution