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Data from: The monocotyledonous underground: global climatic and phylogenetic patterns of geophyte diversity

Cite this dataset

Howard, Cody Coyotee; Folk, Ryan A.; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Cellinese, Nico (2019). Data from: The monocotyledonous underground: global climatic and phylogenetic patterns of geophyte diversity [Dataset]. Dryad.


Geophytes—plants typically with a bulb, corm, tuber or rhizome—are economically and evolutionarily important; however, the drivers of their morphological diversity remain unknown. Using a comprehensive phylogeny of monocots, we test for correlations between climate and growth form to better understand why we observe such a diversity of geophyte underground traits. Understanding the evolutionary factors promoting independent origins of these organs will lend insights into how plants adapt to environmental hardships. Using a phylogeny incorporated with global occurrence and climate data for the monocots, we investigated whether climatic patterns could explain differences between geophytes and non-geophytes, as well as differences among bulbous, cormous, tuberous, rhizomatous, and non-geophytic taxa. We used phylogenetically-informed ANOVAs, MANOVAs and PCAs to test differences in climatic variables between growth forms. Geophytes inhabit cooler, drier and thermally variable climates compared to non-geophytes. Although some underground traits (i.e., bulb, corm, and tuber) appear to inhabit particular niches, our data has limited evidence for an overall role of climate in the evolution of these traits. However, temperature may be a driving force in rhizome evolution, as well as the evolution of taxa considered here as non-geophytes. Our results suggest that temperature should be more strongly considered as a factor promoting the evolution of belowground bud placement, specifically as it relates to rhizomatous taxa. Bulbous, cormous and tuberous taxa need closer examination of other mechanisms, such as anatomical constraints or genetic controls, in order to begin to understand the causes behind the evolution of their underground morphology. In compliance with data protection regulations, you may request that we remove your personal registration details at any time. (Use the following URL: Please contact the publication office if you have any questions.

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