Table 2

Characterization of life forms used in the ancestral state reconstructions (from Lammers [23]).

Life form

Stems

Buds


Aquatic

Comprises both Hydrophytes and Hydrohemicryptophytes


Chamaephyte

Herbaceous and/or woody and persistent

On or just above soil level but never more than 0.5 m above ground


Geophyte

Hemicryptophytes that survive unfavourable seasons in the form of a rhizome, bulb, tuber or root bud

Below soil level


Hemicryptophyte

Herbaceous, often dying back after the growing season but with buds or growth at soil level

Just on or below soil level


Herbaceous phanerophyte

Herbaceous and persisting for several years

Above soil level


Hydrophyte

Vegetative shoots entirely in water, the leaves usually submersed and/or floating; flower-bearing parts may emerge above the water

Permanently or temporarily on the bottom of the water


Nanophanerophyte

Woody and indefinitely persistent

Above soil level but normally less than 3 m above ground


Phanerophyte

Woody and indefinitely persistent

Normally 3 m or more above ground


Therophyte

Plants surviving unfavourable seasons in the form of seeds, completing their life-cycle during the favourable season


Antonelli BMC Biology 2009 7:82   doi:10.1186/1741-7007-7-82

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