▪ Abstract 

The predominantly wind-pollinated order Poales includes about one third of all monocot (Angiosperm) species, with c. 20,000 species dominating modern savanna and steppe vegetation. Recent improvements in understanding relationships within the order allow phylogenetic optimizations of habitat preferences and adaptive character states, enabling exploration of the factors that have influenced evolution in this successful order. Poales probably originated in the late Cretaceous in wet nutrient–poor sunny habitats. By the Paleogene the lineage had diversified into swamps, the forest understory, epiphytic habitats, and nutrient-poor heathlands. The Neogene saw major diversifications of the grasses and possibly the sedges into fire-adapted vegetation in seasonal climates and low atmospheric CO. Diversification into these habitats was facilitated by morphological features such as the sympodial habit and physiological factors that allowed frequent evolution of CO-concentrating mechanisms.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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