Botany 940 - Systematics Seminar

Key Innovations

columbine spur
Salvia bee

Spring 2003

Tuesday 12: 05-12:55

D. Baum, P. Berry, K. Sytsma - instructors


The focus of this seminar will be to examine questions like: How do we explain the diversity of organismal form and function? To what extent is this diversity an effect of the production of morphological and functional key innovations? How do we test whether a key innovation is correlated with the adaptive radiation of that clade? How can we reject null models of speciation rate, tree shape in order to accept the causality of key innovations in species number and tree shape? How can sister group relationships in phylogenetic trees be used to address these issues?

We will read the historical literature dealing with these questions, more modern analytical approaches to address the issues, and critically examine many of the examples of putative key innovations in plants and animals. The seminar is thus appropriate for those interested in ecology, systematics, diversity, and evolutionary biology in general. One or two papers will be read each week by all participants - faculty, staff, enrolled graduate students, and regular visitors. Approximately two days prior to the noon seminar, the names of two participants will be randomly selected to prepare critical overheads from the papers and initiate the discussion. PDF versions of the papers will be available through the links below.

Date Reading Title + other sources
February 4

Slowinski & Guyer 1993

Testing whether certain traits have caused amplified diversification: an improved method based on a model of random speciation and extinction.


other readings: Slowinski & Guyer 1989; Savage 1983; Gould et al. 1977


February 11

Lauder & Liem 1989

The role of historical factors in the evolution of complex organismal functions

February 18 Cracraft 1990 The origin of evolutionary novelties: pattern and process at different hierarchical levels.
February 25 Sanderson & Donoghue 1994 Shifts in diversification rates with the origin of angiosperms
March 4 Hodges 1997a Floral nectar spurs and diversification
    other readings:Hodges & Arnold 1995; Hodges 1997b
March 11 Heilbuth 2000 Lower species richness in dioecious clades
March 25 Bond & Opell 1998 Testing adaptive radiation and key innovation hypotheses in spiders
April 1 Hunter 1998a Key innovations and the ecology of macroevolution
    see response / rebuttal: Masters & Rayner 1998 / Hunter 1998b
April 8 No reading Key innovations and the evolution of Salvia - Jay Walker presentation
April 15 Barraclough et al. 1999 Testing whether ecological factors promote cladogenesis in a group of tiger beetles (Coleoptera : Cicindelidae)
April 22 No class  
April 29 Cavender-Bares et al. Phylogenetic repulsion in the assembly of Floridian oak communities
May 6 de Queiroz 2002 Contingent predictability in evolution: key traits and diversification
Other Papers
  Pellmyr & Krenn 2002 Origin of a complex key innovation in an obligate insect-plant mutualism
  Sanderson & Wojciechowski 1996 Diversification rates in a temperate legume clade: Are there ''so many species'' of Astragalus (Fabaceae)?
  Dodd et al. 1999 Phylogenetic analysis of trait evolution and species diversity variation among angiosperm families
  Smith 2001 High species diversity in fleshy-fruited tropical understory plants