Corolla morphology and diversification rates in toadflaxes

Results suggest that opposing individual-level/species-level selection pressures have driven evolution of pollinator-restrictive traits in bifid toadflaxes.
Corolla morphology and diversification rates in toadflaxes
Corolla morphology and diversification rates in toadflaxes

The role of flower specialization in plant speciation and evolution remains controversial. Fernández-Mazuecos et al. use a time-calibrated phylogeny in conjunction with morphometric analysis to study bifid toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores), which have highly specialized corollas. They determine that a restrictive character state (narrow corolla tube) is reconstructed in the most-recent common ancestor. After its early loss in the most species-rich clade, this character state has been convergently reacquired in multiple lineages of this clade in recent times, yet it seems to have exerted a negative influence on diversification rates. The results suggest that opposing individual-level and species-level selection pressures may have driven the evolution of pollinator-restrictive traits in the bifid toadflaxes.