|Thursday, July 08|
Some unlikely extrapolations from the improbable architecture of Herzogianthus vaginatus (Herzogianthaceae)
* Matthew Renner, Australian Institute of Botanical Research, Australia
In liverworts underleaves are one of the characteristic features of leafy liverworts. Two shoot architectures are known in leafy liverworts, having ratios of leaves to underleaves of 1:1 or 2:1, and pendulous or helical segmentation sequences by the apical meristematic cell, respectively. Herzogianthus fits neither of these two modes and further exhibits architectural flexibility, and hierarchical structure, both unprecedented features among leafy liverworts. Although much remains unknown about Herzogianthus and its branch architecture, including the precise mechanism by which the unusual architectures are achieved, this ought not prevent us from exploring the broader ramifications of some of these mechanisms, if realised, for the evolution of structural diversity and organisation across liverworts. Herzogianthus also presents a timely reminder of the need for us all to be prepared for, and receptive to, surprising observational data.