Artémis Anest, a PhD student from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and his teacher Prof. Kyle Tomlinson and other researchers made the first attempt to classify Euphorbia traits according to their architecture. They investigated how architectural traits can explain the structural evolution of Euphorbia and specifically tested whether climate has been a major evolutionary driver of architecture in the clade. The study was published in New Phytologist.
The study received much attention from international colleagues. Recently, a commentary was published in New Phytiologist by Prof. Guillaume Chomicki, an evolutionary biologist from University of Sheffield.
According to Guillaume Chomicki, the researchers bring insights into the role of climate in shaping growth forms with the approach developed by Hallé and colleagues to show that climates are important drivers of plant architecture in Euphorbia.
“This study shows that the time is now ripe to bring together these different approaches and shed new light onto how plant forms have evolved, and their methodological framework can now be applied to any plant groups,” said the commentary.
In addition, the commentary pointed out that the work underlines climatic factors are important drivers of plant architecture but do not explain the diversity of architectural forms that coexist within the same environment.
Diversity of architectures in Euphorbia.