Opposing effects of plant traits on diversification

Bruce Anderson, John Pannell, Sylvain Billiard, Concetta Burgarella, Hugo de Boer, Mathilde Dufay, Andrew J. Helmstetter, Marcos Méndez, Sarah P. Otto, Denis Roze, Hervé Sauquet, Daniel Schoen, Jürg Schönenberger, Mario Vallejo-Marin, Rosana Zenil-Ferguson, Jos Käfer, Sylvain Glémin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Species diversity can vary dramatically across lineages due to differences in speciation and extinction rates. Here, we explore the effects of several plant traits on diversification, finding that most traits have opposing effects on diversification. For example, outcrossing may increase the efficacy of selection and adaptation but also decrease mate availability, two processes with contrasting effects on lineage persistence. Such opposing trait effects can manifest as differences in diversification rates that depend on ecological context, spatiotemporal scale, and associations with other traits. The complexity of pathways linking traits to diversification suggests that the mechanistic underpinnings behind their correlations may be difficult to interpret with any certainty, and context dependence means that the effects of specific traits on diversification are likely to differ across multiple lineages and timescales. This calls for taxonomically and context-controlled approaches to studies that correlate traits and diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106362
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 21 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023


  • Biological sciences
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Evolutionary theories
  • Plant biology
  • Plant population biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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