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Phylogenetics, morphological evolution, and classification of Euphorbia subgenus Euphorbia

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Euphorbia subg. Euphorbia is the largest and most diverse of four recently recognized subgenera within Euphorbia and is distributed across the tropics and subtropics. Relationships within this group have been difficult to discern due mainly to homoplasious morphological characters and inadequate taxon sampling in previous phylogenetic studies. Here we present a phylogenetic analysis of E. subg. Euphorbia, using one nuclear and two plastid regions, for the most complete sampling of molecular sequence data to date. We assign 661 species to the subgenus and show that it is comprised of four highly supported clades, including a single New World clade and multiple independent lineages on Madagascar. Using this phylogenetic framework we discuss patterns of homoplasy in morphological evolution and general patterns of biogeography. Finally, we present a new sectional classification of E. subg. Euphorbia comprising 21 sections, nine of them newly described here.
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Keywords: EUPHORBIA SUBG. EUPHORBIA; EUPHORBIACEAE; GROWTH FORMS; ITS; MADAGASCAR; MATK; NDHF; NEW WORLD; SECTIONAL CLASSIFICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 830 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1048, U.S.A., The Huntington Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California 91108, U.S.A.;, Email: [email protected] 2: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département Systématique et Evolution, UMR 7205 CNRS/MNHN Origine, Structure et Evolution de la Biodiversité, CP 39, 57 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France 3: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 N. College Avenue, Claremont, California 91711, U.S.A. 4: Real Jardín Botánico, CSIC, Plaza de Murillo 2, Madrid 28014, Spain 5: Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Centro Regional del Bajío, A.P. 386, 61600 Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico 6: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 830 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1048, U.S.A., University of Michigan Herbarium, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 3600 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2013-04-20

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