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  1. Miconia tetrandra, a morphologically distinctive species restricted to the Caribbean region, is provided with an updated assessment of its phylogenetic position and taxonomy. A detailed description and nomenclatural treatment are provided, along with a consideration of phenology, distribution and habitat, and citation of specimens examined. The species is a member of the Caribbean clade, and it is unusual within Miconia in having flowers with only four stamens (alternating with the petals), with short, obovate, yellow anthers that each open by two large pores. Miconia tetrandra is morphologically quite divergent from, but is likely related to, a clade comprised by M. angustifolia, M. urbanii, and M. biflora, and these three species traditionally have been included within the genus Tetrazygia. In contrast, M. tetrandra usually has been placed within Miconia.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 15, 2023
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. Abstract The drying power of air, or vapour pressure deficit (VPD), is an important measurement of potential plant stress and productivity. Estimates of VPD values of the past are integral for understanding the link between rising modern atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO 2 ) and global water balance. A geological record of VPD is needed for paleoclimate studies of past greenhouse spikes which attempt to constrain future climate, but at present there are few quantitative atmospheric moisture proxies that can be applied to fossil material. Here we show that VPD leaves a permanent record in the slope ( S ) of least-squares regressions between stable isotope ratios of carbon and oxygen ( 13 C and 18 O) found in cellulose and pedogenic carbonate. Using previously published data collected across four continents we show that S can be used to reconstruct VPD within and across biomes. As one application, we used S to estimate VPD of 0.46 kPa ± 0.26 kPa for cellulose preserved tens of millions of years ago—in the Eocene (45 Ma) Metasequoia from Axel Heiberg Island, Canada—and 0.82 kPa ± 0.52 kPa—in the Oligocene (26 Ma) for pedogenic carbonate from Oregon, USA—both of which are consistent with existing records at those locations. Finally, we discuss mechanisms that contribute tomore »the positive correlation observed between VPD and S , which could help reconstruct past climatic conditions and constrain future alterations of global carbon and water cycles resulting from modern climate change.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 2, 2022
  6. Townsend, Jeffrey (Ed.)
    Abstract Dissecting the relationship between gene function and substitution rates is key to understanding genome-wide patterns of molecular evolution. Biochemical pathways provide powerful systems for investigating this relationship because the functional role of each gene is often well characterized. Here, we investigate the evolution of the flavonoid pigment pathway in the colorful Petunieae clade of the tomato family (Solanaceae). This pathway is broadly conserved in plants, both in terms of its structural elements and its MYB, basic helix–loop–helix, and WD40 transcriptional regulators, and its function has been extensively studied, particularly in model species of petunia. We built a phylotranscriptomic data set for 69 species of Petunieae to infer patterns of molecular evolution across pathway genes and across lineages. We found that transcription factors exhibit faster rates of molecular evolution (dN/dS) than their targets, with the highly specialized MYB genes evolving fastest. Using the largest comparative data set to date, we recovered little support for the hypothesis that upstream enzymes evolve slower than those occupying more downstream positions, although expression levels do predict molecular evolutionary rates. Although shifts in floral pigmentation were only weakly related to changes affecting coding regions, we found a strong relationship with the presence/absence patterns of MYBmore »transcripts. Intensely pigmented species express all three main MYB anthocyanin activators in petals, whereas pale or white species express few or none. Our findings reinforce the notion that pathway regulators have a dynamic history, involving higher rates of molecular evolution than structural components, along with frequent changes in expression during color transitions.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. An ab initio molecular dynamics investigation of the solvent effect (water) on the structural parameters, 195 Pt NMR spin–spin coupling constants (SSCCs) and chemical shifts of a series of pyridonate-bridged Pt III dinuclear complexes is performed using Kohn–Sham (KS) Car–Parrinello molecular dynamics (CPMD) and relativistic hybrid KS NMR calculations. The indirect solvent effect ( via structural changes) has a dramatic effect on the 1 J PtPt SSCCs. The complexes exhibit a strong trans influence in solution, where the Pt–Pt bond lengthens with increasing axial ligand σ-donor strength. In the diaqua complex, where the solvent effect is more pronounced, the SSCCs averaged for CPMD configurations with explicit plus implicit solvation agree much better with the experimental data, while the calculations for static geometry and CPMD unsolvated configurations show large deviations with respect to experiment. The combination of CPMD with hybrid KS NMR calculations provides a much more realistic computational model that reproduces the large magnitudes of 1 J PtPt and 195 Pt chemical shifts. An analysis of 1 J PtPt in terms of localized and canonical orbitals shows that the SSCCs are driven by changes in the s-character of the natural atomic orbitals of Pt atoms, which affect the 'Fermi contact'more »mechanism.« less
  8. Abstract High-frequency precipitation variance is calculated in 12 different free-running (non-data-assimilative) coupled high resolution atmosphere–ocean model simulations, an assimilative coupled atmosphere–ocean weather forecast model, and an assimilative reanalysis. The results are compared with results from satellite estimates of precipitation and rain gauge observations. An analysis of irregular sub-daily fluctuations, which was applied by Covey et al. (Geophys Res Lett 45:12514–12522, 2018. 10.1029/2018GL078926 ) to satellite products and low-resolution climate models, is applied here to rain gauges and higher-resolution models. In contrast to lower-resolution climate simulations, which Covey et al. (2018) found to be lacking with respect to variance in irregular sub-daily fluctuations, the highest-resolution simulations examined here display an irregular sub-daily fluctuation variance that lies closer to that found in satellite products. Most of the simulations used here cannot be analyzed via the Covey et al. (2018) technique, because they do not output precipitation at sub-daily intervals. Thus the remainder of the paper focuses on frequency power spectral density of precipitation and on cumulative distribution functions over time scales (2–100 days) that are still relatively “high-frequency” in the context of climate modeling. Refined atmospheric or oceanic model grid spacing is generally found to increase high-frequency precipitation variance in simulations, approaching themore »values derived from observations. Mesoscale-eddy-rich ocean simulations significantly increase precipitation variance only when the atmosphere grid spacing is sufficiently fine (< 0.5°). Despite the improvements noted above, all of the simulations examined here suffer from the “drizzle effect”, in which precipitation is not temporally intermittent to the extent found in observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023