de Oliveira, F. B.
Lohmann, L. G.
Total Authors: 3
 Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Bot, IB, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Sao Paulo, Dept Genet & Biol Evolut, IB, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY;
Web of Science Citations:
Phenotypic integration is essential to the understanding of organismal evolution as a whole. In this study, a phylogenetic framework is used to assess phenotypic integration among the floral parts of a group of Neotropical lianas. Flowers consist of plant reproductive organs (carpels and stamens), usually surrounded by attractive whorls (petals and sepals). Thus, flower parts might be involved in different functions and developmental constraints, leading to conflicting selective forces. We found that Bignonieae flowers have very similar patterns of variance/covariance among traits and that such patterns are uncorrelated with the phylogenetic relationships between species. However, in spite of pattern stasis, our results also indicate that diversification of floral morphology in this group has occurred throughout the evolution of magnitudes of correlation among traits. Thus, we suggest that stabilizing selection has played an important role in phenotypic integration, resulting in the long-term stasis of covariance patterns underlying flower diversification during the ca. 50Myr of evolution of Bignonieae. This is the first report of long-term stasis in the phenotypic integration of angiosperms, suggesting that patterns of floral morphology can be recognizable as specific attributes of distinct botanical families. (AU)