Evolutionary Voyage of Angiosperm Vessel Structure-Function and its Significance for Early Angiosperm Success

T. S. Field
Jonathan P. Wilson, Haverford College


This was an invited, peer-reviewed review paper for a major special issue on critical transitions in the evolution of land plants. My colleague Taylor Feild and I wrote a paper laying out the functional history of the angiosperm vessel, a cell type that allows long-distance transport of water in plant stems and leaves. We showed that, although there are other cells that can approximate vessel function, none have the particular combination of advantages seen within vessels.