The origins of flowering plants and pollinators

Jeff Ollerton, Casper van der Kooi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

For more than a century there has been a fascination with the surprisingly rapid rise and early diversity of flowering plants (angiosperms). Darwin described the seemingly explosive diversification of angiosperms as an “abominable mystery,” and debates continue about the origin and processes driving angiosperm speciation. Dating the origin of angiosperms was traditionally the prerogative of paleobotanists who read the fossil record of plants, but with DNA sequencing becoming increasingly sophisticated, molecular dating methods have come to the table. Many angiosperm fossils can be dated to the Early Cretaceous (∼135 million years ago), which has led paleobotanists to reason that they originated during that era. It is now increasingly recognized that angiosperms are probably older than the oldest fossils, but how much older remains controversial. When angiosperms originated is key to understanding the origin and evolution of pollinators, particularly insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, and flies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1308
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume368
Issue number6497
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Pollinator
  • Biodiversity
  • Evolution
  • Botany

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The origins of flowering plants and pollinators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this