The reproductive organs and mating biology of angiosperms exhibit greater variety than those of any other group of organisms. Flowers and inflorescences are also the most diverse structures produced by angiosperms, and floral traits provide some of the most compelling examples of evolution by natural selection. Given that flowering plants include roughly 250,000 species, their reproductive diversity will not be explained easily by continued accumulation of case studies of individual species. Instead a more strategic approach is now required, which seeks to identify general principles concerning the role of ecological function in the evolution of reproductive diversity.
The Ecology and Evolution of Flowers uses this approach to expose new insights into the functional basis of floral diversity, and presents the very latest theoretical and empirical research on floral evolution. Floral biology is a dynamic and growing area and this book, written by the leading internationally recognized researchers in this field, reviews current progress in understanding the evolution and function of flowers. Chapters contain both new research findings and synthesis. Major sections in turn examine functional aspects of floral traits and sexual systems, the ecological influences on reproductive adaptation, and the role of floral biology in angiosperm diversification. Overall, this integrated treatment illustrates the role of floral function and evolution in the generation of angiosperm biodiversity.
This advanced textbook is suitable for graduate level students taking courses in plant ecology, evolution, systematics, biodiversity and conservation. It will also be of interest and use to a broader audience of plant scientists seeking an authoritative overview of recent advances in floral biology.
Preface; 1. David G. Lloyd and the evolution of floral biology: from natural history to strategic analysis; PART 1 STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES ON FLORAL BIOLOGY; 2. Selection on reproductive characters: conceptual foundations and their extension to pollinator interactions; 3. Evolutionarily stable reproductive investment and sex allocation in plants; 4. Pollen and ovule fates and reproductive performance by flowering plants; PART 2 ECOLOGICAL CONTEXT OF FLORAL FUNCTION AND ITS EVOLUTION; 5. Models of pollinator-mediated gene dispersal in plants; 6. Pollinator responses to plant communities and implications for reproductive character evolution; 7. Non-pollinator agents of selection on floral traits; 8. Flowering phenologies of animal-pollinated plants: reproductive strategies and agents of selection; 9. Flower performance in human-altered habitats; PART 3 MATING STRATEGIES AND SEXUAL SYSTEMS; 10. Reproductive assurance and the evolution of uniparental reproduction in flowering plants; 11. The evolution of separate sexes: a focus on the ecological context; 12. Effects of colonization and metapopulation dynamics on the evolution of plant sexual systems; 13. Floral design and the evolution of asymmetrical mating systems; PART 4 FLORAL DIVERSIFICATION; 14. Ecological genetics of floral evolution; 15. Geographical context of floral evolution: towards an improved research programme in floral diversification; 16. Pollinator-driven speciation in plants; 17. Floral Characters and Species Diversification; 18. Floral Biology of Hybrid Zones; GLOSSARY
This comprehensive book is dedicated to the late David G. Lloyd, whose conceptual synthesis laid the foundation for modern plant reproductive biology. The chapters draw from an international slate of experts and, like Lloyd's work itself, integrate mathematical theory and empiricism. This book provides a state-of-the-art view of reproductive biology today. Bioscience, October 2007 'An excellent buy for GBP37.50.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society, 2007 38:2