Global analysis of Poales diversification - parallel evolution in space and time into open and closed habitats. Academic Article uri icon


  • Poales are one of the most species-rich, ecologically and economically important orders of plants and often characterise open habitats, enabled by unique suites of traits. We test six hypotheses regarding the evolution and assembly of Poales in open and closed habitats throughout the world, and examine whether diversification patterns demonstrate parallel evolution. We sampled 42% of Poales species and obtained taxonomic and biogeographic data from the World Checklist of Vascular Plants database, which was combined with open/closed habitat data scored by taxonomic experts. A dated supertree of Poales was constructed. We integrated spatial phylogenetics with regionalisation analyses, historical biogeography and ancestral state estimations. Diversification in Poales and assembly of open and closed habitats result from dynamic evolutionary processes that vary across lineages, time and space, most prominently in tropical and southern latitudes. Our results reveal parallel and recurrent patterns of habitat and trait transitions in the species-rich families Poaceae and Cyperaceae. Smaller families display unique and often divergent evolutionary trajectories. The Poales have achieved global dominance via parallel evolution in open habitats, with notable, spatially and phylogenetically restricted divergences into strictly closed habitats.

published proceedings

  • New Phytol

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, T. L., Spalink, D., Larridon, I., Zuntini, A. R., Escudero, M., Hackel, J., ... Muasya, A. M.

complete list of authors

  • Elliott, Tammy L||Spalink, Daniel||Larridon, Isabel||Zuntini, Alexandre Rizzo||Escudero, Marcial||Hackel, Jan||Barrett, Russell L||Martín-Bravo, Santiago||Márquez-Corro, José Ignacio||Granados Mendoza, Carolina||Mashau, Aluoneswi C||Romero-Soler, Katya J||Zhigila, Daniel A||Gehrke, Berit||Andrino, Caroline Oliveira||Crayn, Darren M||Vorontsova, Maria S||Forest, Félix||Baker, William J||Wilson, Karen L||Simpson, David A||Muasya, A Muthama

publication date

  • November 2023