Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail


Allende, Luis M. [1], Smith, Stacey [2].

Drivers of Cushion Plant Morphology in Solanaceae.

The plant life form referred to as a “cushion plant” is described by a short compact growth habit that has convergently evolved in at least 115 times in angiosperms. While experimental evidence is limited, this plant life form is thought to be one of the best adapted growth forms to alpine and arctic environments. Their compacted domed shape is thought to enable them to moderate temperature, store moisture, increase soil quantity, and offer protection from abrasive wind. However, the degree to which other aspects of cushion morphology are convergent or influenced by environmental factors has not been considered. Here, the tribe Petunieae in the Solanaceae family is utilized to investigate characteristics of leaf morphology (sessility and elongation) and canopy architecture (internode length and phyllotaxy) that appear to differ between cushion and non-cushion species and how these traits relate to climate across the entire tribe. In order to order to answer these questions, morphological data was collected from herbarium vouchers and occurrence data was collected from both herbarium specimens and the online database Occurrence data was then rasterized, and climate information extracted using a map layer climate data from In order to analyze these data in a phylogenetic context, a phylogeny for this tribe was constructed using sequence data available on GenBank. Independent contrasts and linear modeling were then used to investigate possible relationships between morphology, the interaction among traits and climate. Several aspects of cushion morphology in Petunieae were shown to correlate with measures of cold and dryness. In addition, the interaction between traits was shown to be correlated with cold and dry conditions suggesting a possible relationship to evapotranspiration and heat dissipation. In order to continue this work, a better resolved phylogeny and more comprehensive sampling including intraspecific data will hopefully increase confidence in the recovered relationships.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University of Colorado Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1900 Pleasant St, Boulder, CO, 80342
2 - University Of Colorado-Boulder, EBIO Department, Campus Box 0334, Boulder, CO, 80309, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecophysiology Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PPE014
Abstract ID:1034
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best poster presentation,Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize

Copyright © 2000-2019, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved