Thomas J. Givnish

 

Henry Allan Gleason Professor of Botany and Environmental Studies

Ph.D. (1976) Princeton University • 315 Birge Hall • 608-262-5718 • givnish@wisc.edu

Plant ecology and evolution; adaptive radiation and molecular systematics;
phylogeography; physiological ecology; landscape dynamics

My students and I explore several questions at the interface of ecology, evolution, systematics, and biogeography:

 

By what historical processes do plant species arise, diverge ecologically, and occupy and adapt to different habitats and geographic regions?

 

How do various features of plant form, physiology, and behavior affect energy capture and growth under different conditions, thereby resulting in competitive success in some contexts and not others?

 

How can adaptations constrain species distributions and help create gradients in the composition, structure, and diversity of communities and landscapes?

 

What are the roles of spatially coupled feedbacks in creating patterned landscapes, and how might these be important in designing conservation and restoration strategies at large spatial scales?

 

Our research involves a wide range of habitats and lineages around the world, with special focus on adaptive radiations, especially on islands and tropical mountains. Current NSF-supported projects focus on (1) the adaptive radiation, historical biogeography, and species diversification of various monocot groups, as well as the Hawaiian lobeliads; (2) the photosynthetic, hydraulic, and allocational traits that help set the distributions of ten Eucalyptus species that dominate different portions of a steep moisture gradient in Victoria, Australia (in collaboration with Kate McCulloh, Duncan Smith, Mark Adams, and Tom Buckley); and (3) the morphological, ecological, genetic, and phylogenetic determinants of local species extinctions and explosions in Wisconsin (in collaboration with Don Waller, Ken Cameron, and Ken Sytsma). Other research topics are mentioned on the following pages:

Selected Recent Publications

 

Ash JD, Givnish TJ, Waller DM 2017 Tracking lags in historical plant species’ shifts in relation to regional climate change. Global Change Biology 23: 1305-1315. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Kriebel R 2017 Causes of ecological gradients in leaf margin entirety: evaluating the roles of biomechanics, hydraulics, vein geometry, and bud packing. American Journal of Botany 104: 354-366. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Spalink D, Ames M, Lyon SP, Hunter SJ, Zuluaga A, Clements MA, Arroyo MTK, Endara L, Kriebel R, Williams NH, Cameron KM 2016 Orchid historical biogeography, diversification, Antarctica, and the paradox of orchid dispersal. Journal of Biogeography 43: 1905-1916. pdf

 

Spalink D, Drew BT, Pace MC, Zaborsky JG, Starr JR, Cameron KM, Givnish TJ, Sytsma KJ. 2016. Biogeography of the cosmopolitan sedges (Cyperaceae) and the area-richness correlation in plants. Journal of Biogeo¬graphy 43: 1893-1904. pdf

 

Kartzinel RA, Spalink D, Waller DM, Givnish TJ. 2016. Divergence and isolation of cryptic sympatric taxa within the annual legume Amphicarpaea bracteata. Molecular Evolution 6: 3367-3379. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Zuluaga A, Lam VKY, Gomez MS, Iles WJD, Spalink D, J. Moeller JR, Lyon SP, Briggs BG, Zomlefer WB, Graham SW 2016 Plastome phylogeny and historical biogeo¬graphy of the monocot order Liliales: out of Australia and through Antarctica. Cladistics 32: 581-605. pdf

 

Givnish TJ 2016 Convergent evolution, adaptive radiation, and species diversification in plants. In R Kliman (ed.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 1, pp. 362-373. Academic Press, Oxford. pdf

 

Alstad AO, Damschen EI, Givnish TJ, Harrington JA, Leach MK, Rogers DA, Waller DM 2016The pace of community change is accelerating in remnant prairies. Science Express 2: e150097. pdf

 

Wernerehl RW, Givnish TJ 2015 Relative roles of soil moisture, nutrient supply, and mechanical impedance in determining tallgrass prairie composition and structure. Plos One 10: e0137963. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Spalink D, Ames M, Lyon SP, Hunter SJ, Zuluaga A, Clements MA, Arroyo MTK, Leebens-Mack J, Endara L, Kriebel K, Neubig KM, Whitten WM, Williams NH, Cameron KM 2015 Orchid phylogenomics and multiple drivers of extraordinary diversification. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 282: 20151553. pdf

 

Givnish TJ 2015 Adaptive radiation vs. “radiation” and “explosive diversification”: why conceptual distinctions are fundamental to understanding evolution. New Phytologist 207: S297-S303. pdf

 

Scoffoni C, Kunkle J, Pasquet-Kok J, Vuong C, Patel AJ, Montgomery RA, Givnish TJ, Sack L. 2015. Light-induced plasticity in leaf hydraulics, anatomy and gas exchange in ecologically diverse Hawaiian lobeliads. New Phytologist 207: 43-58. pdf

 

Givnish TJ 2015 New evidence on the origin of carnivorous plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 112: 10-11. pdf

Givnish TJ, Wong SC, Stuart-Williams H, Holloway-Phillips M, Farquhar GD 2014 Determinants of maximum tree height of Eucalyptus along a rainfall gradient in Victoria, Australia. Ecology 95: 2991-3007. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Montgomery RA 2014 Common-garden studies on adaptive radiation of photosynthetic physiology among Hawaiian lobeliads. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 281: 20132944. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Barfuss MHJ, Van Ee B, Riina R, Schulte K, Horres R, Gonsiska PA, Jabaily RS, Crayn DM, Smith JAC, Winter K, Brown GK, Evans TM, Holst BK, Luther HE, Till W, Zizka G, Berry PE, Sytsma KJ 2014 Adaptive radiation, correlated and contingent evolution, and determinants of net species diversification in Bromeliaceae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 55-78. pdf

 

Glaser PH, Hansen BCS, Donovan JJ, Givnish TJ, Stricker CA, Volin JC 2013 Holocene dynamics of the Florida Everglades with respect to climate, dustfall, and tropical storms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110: 17211-17216. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, Bean G, Ames M, Lyon SP, Sytsma KJ 2013 Phylogeny, floral evolution, and inter-island dispersal in Hawaiian Clermontia (Lobeliaceae) based on ISSR variation and plastid spacer sequences. PLoS ONE 8: e62566. pdf

 

Sessa EB, Zimmer EA, Givnish TJ 2012 Reticulate evolution on a global scale: a nuclear phylogeny for Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64: 563-581. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, MHJ Barfuss, B Van Ee, R Riina, K Schulte, R Horres, PA Gonsiska, RS Jabaily, DM Crayn, JAC Smith, K Winter, GK Brown, TM Evans, BK Holst, H Luther, W Till, G Zizka, PE Berry, KJ Sytsma.  2011.  Phylogeny, adaptive radiation, and historical biogeography in Bromeliaceae:  Insights from an eight-locus plastid phylogeny.  American Journal of Botany 98: 872-895. pdf

 

Givnish TJ.  2010.  Ecology of plant speciation.  Taxon 59: 1326-1366. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, M Ames, JR McNeal, MR McKain, PR Steele, CW dePamphilis, JC Pires, DW Stevenson, WB Zomlefer, BG Briggs, MR Duvall, JM Heaney, DE Soltis, PS Soltis, K Thiele, JH Leebens-Mack.  2010.  Assembling the tree of the monocotyledons:  plastome sequence phylogeny and evolution of Poales.  Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens 97: 584-616. pdf

 

Givnish TJ, KC Millam, AR Mast, TB Patterson, TJ Theim, AL Hipp, JM Henss, JF Smith, KR Wood, KJ Sytsma.  2009.  Origin, adaptive radiation and diversification of the Hawaiian lobeliads (Asterales: Campanulaceae).  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 276: 407-416. pdf

 

Copyright notice: PDF's are provided to provide timely dissemination of scholarly research.  Copyrights are retained by the authors and/or publishers.  Anyone downloading the /givnish/pdfs is expected to obey the legal requirements imposed by copyright law, and may not repost these documents without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

Photographs:  TOP - Portrait of the scientist as a young man among Nymphaea tuberosa; Platanthera leucophaea (Orchidaceae), one of the most rapidly disappearing species in Midwestern wet prairies; species-rich Eucalyptus woodland, Stirling Range, Western Australia; profile of the Great Smoky Mountains in early spring.  BOTTOM - Floral diversity in Rapateaceae; sandstone escarpment, Auyán-tepui, one of the many sandstone plateaus of the ancient Guayana Shield and home to many narrow endemics; Cyanea floribunda, a highly shade-adapted lobeliad, in the Ola`a Tract of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; false-color satellite image of the central and southern Everglades, showing patterned landscape with streamlined tree islands and a series of water-control structures constructed over the last half-century; Lilium michiganense, a member of the Liliales, one of twelve recognized orders of the monocotyledons.



© 2017 University of Wisconsin Department of Botany

Last updated: 13 September 2017