A study of floral shape variation in Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae) using geometric morphometrics on herbarium specimens

Abstract : The variation in the shape of flowers, the reproductive structures of angiosperms, is generally investigated in a qualitative way, or using multivariate statistical analyses of distance data (i.e. traditional morphometrics). In this study, we evaluate the application of geometric morphometric methods to flowers of herbarium specimens, a material that is still being massively overlooked as far as these methods are concerned. Flowers of Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae) are synorganized: the spurred and nectariferous dorsal petals are nested within the spur or hood of the dorsal sepal. The study of synorganized structures is challenging, and geometric morphometric-oriented investigation may provide working hypotheses for an evo-devo exploration of such hyperorgan formation. We analyze here the floral shape of Delphinieae using geometric morphometric methods and demonstrate the effectiveness of these methods on dry and compressed flowers. We also show the diagnostic value of the dorsal half of the perianth of the Delphinieae flower, and suggest some trends to help design future studies on the evolutionary development of spur formation and the co-evolution of Delphinieae flowers with their pollinators.
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Yiyun Chen, Florian Jabbour, Andriy Novikov, Wei Wang, Sylvain Gerber. A study of floral shape variation in Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae) using geometric morphometrics on herbarium specimens. Botany Letters, Taylor & Francis, 2018, 165 (3-4), pp.368-376. ⟨10.1080/23818107.2018.1427145⟩. ⟨hal-02187075⟩

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