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Neckera and Thamnobryum (Neckeraceae, Bryopsida): Paraphyletic assemblages

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Recent phylogenetic analyses indicated that the backbone phylogeny of the pleurocarpous moss family Neckeraceae falls into three distinct clades. Here the detailed composition and phylogenetic relationships of the two major clades (the Neckera clade and the Thamnobryum clade) are analysed. The phylogenetic analyses, based on sequence data from the plastid rpl16 intron and the rps4-trnT-trnL-trnF cluster as well as the nuclear ITS1 and 2, retained this tripartition and revealed a strong biogeographic pattern, especially inside the Neckera clade. In addition, several morphological characters that have been held as unique and characteristic to a certain group of mosses and therefore valuable in taxonomic classification, were shown to be highly homoplastic and subjected to convergent evolution. Consequently, the circumscriptions of Leptodon and Thamnobryum are amended, the new genera Exsertotheca, Echinodiopsis and Thamnomalia (each with two species), and Alleniella (with ten species) are formally described and several implied nomenclatural changes are proposed, including synonymisation of Alsia with Neckera and Cryptoleptodon with Leptodon.
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Keywords: CONVERGENT EVOLUTION; MOLECULAR PHYLOGENY; NOMENCLATURE; PLEUROCARPOUS MOSSES; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biosciences and Botanical Museum, P.O. Box 7, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland 2: Institute of Botany, Plant Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics Group, Dresden University of Technology, 01062 Dresden, Germany, Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany 3: Department of Cryptogamic Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, 104 05 Stockholm, Sweden 4: Department of Cryptogamic Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, 104 05 Stockholm, Sweden, Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology, 20014 University of Turku, Finland

Publication date: 01 February 2011

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