Natural Resources, School of

 

ORCID IDs

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2267-6074

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3375-9630

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7003-8774

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8551-0461

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8269-7723

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5567-4200

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9627-9565

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7893-6421

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3509-8530

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5559-9151

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9053-8872

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6719-9956

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0337-5997

Date of this Version

2020

Citation

New Phytologist (2020) 228: 485–493 doi: 10.1111/nph.16771

Comments

2020 The Authors

Abstract

  • Leaf reflection spectra have been increasingly used to assess plant diversity. However, we do not yet understand how spectra vary across the tree of life or how the evolution of leaf traits affects the differentiation of spectra among species and lineages.
  • Here we describe a framework that integrates spectra with phylogenies and apply it to aglobal dataset of over 16 000 leaf-level spectra (400–2400 nm) for 544 seed plant species. We test for phylogenetic signal in spectra, evaluate their ability to classify lineages, and characterize their evolutionary dynamics.
  • We show that phylogenetic signal is present in leaf spectra but that the spectral regions most strongly associated with the phylogeny vary among lineages. Despite among-lineage heterogeneity, broad plant groups, orders, and families can be identified from reflectance spectra. Evolutionary models also reveal that different spectral regions evolve at different rates and under different constraint levels, mirroring the evolution of their underlying traits.
  • Leaf spectra capture the phylogenetic history of seed plants and the evolutionary dynamics of leaf chemistry and structure. Consequently, spectra have the potential to provide breakthrough assessments of leaf evolution and plant phylogenetic diversity at global scales.

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