ZJHRA, MICHELLE L. Department of Biology, Keene State College, Keene, N.H. 03435-2001. - Cauliflory: seeing the flowers for the trees.
I am investigating the evolution of cauliflory (flowers/fruits woody
stems or branches) within three plant families (Annonaceae,
Bignoniaceae, Moraceae). Cauliflory is an important inflorescence
architecture of the tropical rainforest understory and has evolved in
parallel across many lineages. I will report on progress to date for
phylogenetic, anatomical, and ecological aspects of cauliflory. Trends
in evolutionary pathways will be discussed in the context of Malagasy
Bignoniaceae (Coleeae). The goal of this project is to tease apart the
extent which phylogeny is involved in the multiple independent
expression of inflorescences on wood, and in what way this trait
evolved in association with other traits.
Key words: Annonaceae, Bignoniaceae, cauliflory, Ficus, homology, inflorescence evolution