Harvard University Herbaria

Character evolution

Our monographic and phylogenetic studies will set the stage for a detailed analyses of the evolution of particular characters or suites of characters. These studies will rely heavily on MacClade (Maddison and Madison, 1992) and the tools available therein, including facilities for optimizing continuously varying characters, and for testing the correlated evolution of characters on a tree (Maddison, 1990). In the case of continuous characters we will also explore the use of Felsenstein's independent contrasts method, and other such methods described by Harvey and Pagel (1991). Of special interest are the ascus wall, septum, and operculum characters, which have played an important role in delimiting Pezizales and higher taxa within it. Developmental patterns will also be examined. It should also be possible to establish whether there are multiple origins of different ascomatal carotenoid pigment patterns, spore types, developmental patterns (such as those discussed by Pfister, 1978b), and ecological preferences. As noted above, we are especially interested in contrasting patterns of character evolution in different phases of the life cycle.