Higher level taxonomy and evolution of the palms (Arecaceae) with special reference to seedlings

Low, Choong San (1977). Higher level taxonomy and evolution of the palms (Arecaceae) with special reference to seedlings PhD Thesis, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2015.65

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Author Low, Choong San
Thesis Title Higher level taxonomy and evolution of the palms (Arecaceae) with special reference to seedlings
School, Centre or Institute School of Biological Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2015.65
Publication date 1977
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor H. T. Clifford
Total pages 449(2v.)
Language eng
Subjects 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy
Formatted abstract
Interrelationhsips within the Arecaceae (Palmae) were investigated using numerical-taxonomic methods. A sample of 84 taxa and 79 attributes were classified using an Incremental Sum of Squares strategy. Of the attributes used, much of the data are original, especially those pertaining to seedlings.

Seedling features were described and their significance in the evolution within the family evaluated. what seems generally to have been hitherto unrealized is the amount of information available from seedlings which express the evolutionary sequences within the palms more clearly than do the adult structures.

The results of numerical analyses revealed that:-

(a), there is a high degree of vegetative as well as reproductive diversity within the major subgroups (subfamilies);

(b) the definition of the major subgroups can only be achieved by employing suites of attributes, of these few are constant or faithful to a given subgroup;

(c) embryo and seedling attributes should always be included in phylogenetic speculations.

A new classification of the palms is proposed; the Arecaceae being divided into three subfamilies. The monogeneric subfamilies as recognized in most earlier classifications are artificial.

Distribution patterns of both living and fossil palms together with seedling data have provided evidence for the Caryotoids being the most primitive palms. The palms were of aquatic or semi-aquatic origin and that they have attained a high level of evolution as early or earlier than the Cretaceous. It is proposed that the palms were widespread in Pangaea, and that Laurentia was a secondary centre of palm distribution.

It is concluded that the palms are not a morphological unique and isolated group. They express most clearly evolutionary sequences fundamental to monocotyledons as a whole.
Keyword Palms
Additional Notes Other Title: Taxonomy and evolution of the palms (Arecaceae).

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Mon, 05 Jan 2015, 14:54:02 EST by Mary-Anne Marrington on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service