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European Sweet Vernal Grasses (Anthoxanthum: Poaceae, Pooideae, Aveneae): A Morphometric Taxonomical Approach

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Abstract:

In the present study, several multivariate analyses were carried out to assess the taxonomic relationships among European species of the genus Anthoxanthum. A total of 1787 Anthoxanthum specimens representing all European taxa were analyzed. Thirty macro-morphological (13 quantitative and 17 qualitative) and 29 micro-morphological (7 quantitative and 22 qualitative) characters were considered. First, resemblances between specimens were established independently for macro- and micro-morphological characters using Gower's similarity coefficient, and were represented by means of principal coordinates and cluster analyses. Subsequently, different multivariate analyses were applied to quantitative and qualitative macromorphological data to determine the most discriminant characters and the accuracy of the present taxonomic structure of the genus. Finally, dissimilarities among groups of individuals –species and populations- were estimated using the information radius measure and then represented in different dendrograms. Within annuals, Anthoxanthum gracile is clearly differentiated morphologically, yet no compelling morphological differentiation can be found between Anthoxanthum aristatum and Anthoxanthum ovatum. Moreover, the definition of subspecies in the annual taxa is not supported by our results. Then, within perennials, although the morphological relationships among Anthoxanthum amarum, Anthoxanthum odoratum and Anthoxanthum alpinum have also been resolved, further research is needed to assess the taxonomic position of the Macaronesian endemic Anthoxanthum maderense.

Keywords: ANTHOXANTHUM L; CANONICAL DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS; EUROPE; NUMERICAL TAXONOMY; PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS ANALYSIS; PRINCIPAL COORDINATES ANALYSIS

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1600/036364407780360201

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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