Balsaminaceae is a diverse plant family characterized by a huge floral morphological diversity. Its classification has changed many times throughout the taxonomic history of the group, owing to the emphasis on particular diagnostic characters. This suggests that patterns of character evolution are labile and do not contain much phylogenetic signal. This appears particularly prevalent among floral characters, suggesting that floral evolution and pollination ecology may be important drivers of diversification in the family. Further complications in taxonomy arise from the fact that one of the two genera of the family, Impatiens, has a very large number of species, and that it is distributed across several continents. This has led to a lack of taxonomic effort, especially those regions where very few studies have been done, despite large species diversity. In this thesis, I filled particular gaps in knowledge of Balsaminaceae, focusing on issues related to the Southeast Asian region, including the taxonomic revision of this family in Myanmar (Chapter 2-4), molecular phylogeny and morphological character evolution of Impatiens sect. Semeiocardium (Chapter 5), comparative pollination biology of 7 sympatric Impatiens species in Thailand (Chapter 6), and evolution of corolla symmetry and pollination system of this family (Chapter 7).

, , , , , , , , ,
Staff publications

Ruchisansakun, S. (2018). Balsaminaceae in Southeast Asia: systematics, evolution, and pollination biology. Leiden.