Underestimated endemic species diversity in the dry inter-Andean valley of the Río Marañón, northern Peru: An example from Mimosa (Leguminosae, Mimosoideae)

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Abstract:

Molecular phylogenies which include multiple accessions of species and near complete taxon sampling can be an important tool for estimating species diversity when used in combination with traditional morphology-based taxonomy. Here we use a densely sampled plastid gene tree for a morphologically complex group within the legume genus Mimosa (sect. Batocaulon ser. Andinae) to improve estimates of species limits and diversity in the poorly known dry inter-Andean valley of the Río Marañón, northern Peru. Based on the plastid gene tree, Mimosa ser. Andinae, which previously comprised four species, is re-circumscribed to include six Andean dry-forest species from northern Peru, Ecuador and southern Colombia, including the new species, M. jaenensis, described here. A further three candidate species are identified within the section based on high levels of sequence variation among accessions. With the additional species, the Marañón valley is now known to harbour nine narrowly restricted endemic species of Mimosa, a pattern of multiple congeneric endemics mirrored in many other plant genera as well as several animal groups. Our results, in combination with other published studies, suggest that overall species diversity in the Marañón has been significantly under-estimated. Further work is needed to identify conservation priority areas in the Marañón in order to protect its unique flora.

Keywords: AMOTAPE-HUANCABAMBA ZONE; CANDIDATE SPECIES; CHLOROPLAST DNA; CRYPTIC DIVERSITY; NEW SPECIES; SECTIONAL RE-CIRCUMSCRIPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, U.K., Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH5 3LR, U.K.;, Email: tiinasarkinen@yahoo.com 2: Herbario MOL, Departamento de Manejo Forestal, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Apartado 456, La Molina, Lima, Peru 3: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, U.K., Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotechnologia, PqEB, Caixa Postal 02372, Brasilia-DF, 70770-917, Brazil 4: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH5 3LR, U.K. 5: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, U.K., Institute for Systematic Botany, University of Zurich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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