Finding that Amborella trichopoda is sister to the rest of the angiosperms has raised the question of whether it shares certain key functional trait characteristics and plastic responses apparently widespread within the angiosperms at large. With this in mind, Trueba et al. tested the hypothesis that local canopy openness induces plastic responses in Amborella in a recent study published in AoB PLANTS. The authors provide evidence of intraspecific coordination between leaf and stem economic spectra in this key species. Moreover, by presenting the first architectural and biomechanical characterization of Amborella, their study offers new insights for the understanding of the early sequences of angiosperm form evolution.
Trueba, S., Isnard, S., Barthélémy, D., & Olson, M. E. (2016). Trait coordination, mechanical behaviour and growth form plasticity of Amborella trichopoda under variation in canopy openness. AoB Plants, 8, plw068. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw068