Testing the benefits of early vessel evolution


From rainforests to deserts, across latitudes and elevations, the flowering plants (the angiosperms) dominate almost every terrestrial ecosystem. It is impossible not to be amazed and impressed by their abundance and diversity. While their sudden appearance and rapid domination of the fossil record was once considered a mystery (Friedman, 2009), the keys to their success have increas- ingly become apparent, although it is all too common to posit that innovations in single aspects of their form and function–e.g. pollination (O’Meara et al., 2016), metabolism (Bond, 1989), genome architecture (Dodsworth et al., 2016), or combinations of them (Simonin and Roddy, 2018)–are solely responsible for angiosperm diversity and dominance.

Journal of Experimental Botany