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The island rule and its application to multiple plant traits

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thesis
posted on 07.12.2021, 17:11 by Hendriks, Annemieke

The Island Rule refers to a continuum of body size changes where large mainland species evolve to become smaller and small species evolve to become larger on islands. Previous work focuses almost solely on animals, with virtually no previous tests of its predictions on plants. I tested for (1) reduced floral size diversity on islands, a logical corollary of the island rule and (2) evidence of the Island Rule in plant stature, leaf size and petiole length. Endemic island plants originated from small islands surrounding New Zealand; Antipodes, Auckland, Bounty, Campbell, Chatham, Kermadec, Lord Howe, Macquarie, Norfolk, Snares, Stewart and the Three Kings. I compared the morphology of 65 island endemics and their closest ‘mainland’ relative. Species pairs were identified. Differences between archipelagos located at various latitudes were also assessed. Floral sizes were reduced on islands relative to the ‘mainland’, consistent with predictions of the Island Rule. Plant stature, leaf size and petiole length conformed to the Island Rule, with smaller plants increasing in size, and larger plants decreasing in size. Results indicate that the conceptual umbrella of the Island Rule can be expanded to plants, accelerating understanding of how plant traits evolve on isolated islands.

History

Copyright Date

01/01/2019

Date of Award

01/01/2019

Publisher

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Ecology and Biodiversity

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level

Masters

Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre for Biodiversity & Restoration of Ecology

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis

Language

en_NZ

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Biological Sciences

Advisors

Burns, Kevin