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1 October 2002 Morphology and Angiosperm Systematics in the Molecular Era
Peter K. Endress
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Several ways in which morphology is used in systematic and evolutionary research in angiosperms are shown and illustrated with examples: 1) searches for special structural similarities, which can be used to find hints for hitherto unrecognized relationships in groups with unresolved phylogenetic position; 2) cladistic studies based on morphology and combined morphological and molecular analyses; 3) comparative morphological studies in new, morphologically puzzling clades derived from molecular studies; 4) studies of morphological character evolution, unusual evolutionary directions, and evolutionary lability based on molecular studies; and 5) studies of organ evolution. Conclusions: Goals of comparative morphology have shifted in the present molecular era. Morphology no longer plays the primary role in phylogenetic studies. However, new opportunities for morphology are opening up that were not present in the premolecular era: 1) phylogenetic studies with combined molecular and morphological analyses; 2) reconstruction of the evolution of morphological features based on molecularly derived cladograms; 3) refined analysis of morphological features induced by inconsistencies of previous molecular and molecular phylogenetic analyses; 4) better understanding of morphological features by judgment in a wider biological context; 5) increased potential for including fossils in morphological analyses; and 6) exploration of the evolution of morphological traits by integration of comparative structural and molecular developmental genetic aspects (Evo-Devo); this field is still in its infancy in botany; its advancement is one of the major goals of evolutionary botany.

Peter K. Endress "Morphology and Angiosperm Systematics in the Molecular Era," The Botanical Review 68(4), 545-570, (1 October 2002).[0545:MAASIT]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 October 2002

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