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Species diversity and reticulate evolution in the Asplenium normale complex (Aspleniaceae) in China and adjacent areas

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Abstract:

The Asplenium normale complex contains the widespread A. normale and several geographically restricted species: A. boreale, A. hobdyi, A. kiangsuense, A. oligophlebium and A. shimurae. The taxonomy of this group is unclear with some entities treated infraspecifically or as synonyms. Furthermore, the existence of diploids and tetraploids in this species complex is suggestive of reticulate evolution. In order to formulate a natural classification and to investigate the relationships in this complex, phylogenetic analyses of plastid and nuclear sequence data and inference of ploidy level were used to assess the distinctiveness of putative taxonomic units and their relationships. The Asplenium normale complex was recovered as a monophyletic group comprising six principal chloroplast lineages. The results support the hypothesis that A. normale s.l. contains several species. Based on our inferences, we outline an improved species classification recognizing three diploid and four tetraploid entities. Incongruence of chloroplast and nuclear phylogenies was interpreted to be a result of recurrent reticulation events in the A. normale complex.

Keywords: ASPLENIACEAE; ASPLENIUM; CHLOROPLAST DNA; GENOME SIZE; PGIC; POLYPLOIDY; RETICULATION; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12705/624.6

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Plant Phylogenetics and Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 88 Xuefu Road, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China; Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Yunnan 666303, China; Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China 2: Laboratory of Plant Phylogenetics and Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 88 Xuefu Road, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China; Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Yunnan 666303, China 3: Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China 4: Botany Department, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD, U.K.; State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China

Publication date: August 21, 2013

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