Evolution of a climbing habit promotes diversification in flowering plants

  • Gianoli E
  • 163


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 53


    Citations of this article.


Key innovations are traits that are associated with the particular evolutionary 'success' of some taxonomic groups. Climbing plants depend on the availability of physical support to reach the canopy and thereby prevent shading by neighbouring plants. The present article shows that the evolution of a climbing habit in flowering plants constitutes a key innovation. A literature survey identified 48 pairs of sister groups from 45 families of flowering plants for which information on phylogenetic relationships, growth habit and species richness was available. In 38 cases, the climbing taxa were more diverse than their non-climbing sister groups. This pattern was highly significant. The same result was found when separate analyses were carried out for herbaceous and woody climbing plants, which differ in their constraints for successfully reaching a support.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • E. Gianoli

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free