Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of the lichen-forming fungal genus Flavoparmelia (Ascomycota: Parmeliaceae)

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The lichen-forming fungal genus Flavoparmelia includes species with distinct distribution patterns, including subcosmopolitan, restricted, and disjunct species. We used a dataset of nuclear ITS and LSU ribosomal DNA including 51 specimens to understand the influence of historical events on the current distribution patterns in the genus. We employed Bayesian, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony approaches for phylogenetic analyses, a likelihood-based approach to ancestral area reconstruction, and a Bayesian approach to estimate divergence times of major lineages within the genus. We identified two major clades in the genus, one of them separating into two subclades and one of those into four groups. Several of the groups and clades have restricted geographical ranges in the Southern Hemisphere, but two groups include species with wider distribution areas. Our analyses suggest that the genus originated in southern South America during the Eocene–Oligocene transition and that the diversification of the Australasian groups occurred recently. The subcosmopolitan distribution of species is explained by long-distance dispersal, while vicariance probably played a major role in the origin of the genus. Several currently accepted species were found to be non-monophyletic, indicating that the species delimitation in the genus requires further studies.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biología Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid 28040, Spain 2: Unidad de Bioanálisis, Centro de Investigación y Control de la Calidad, Instituto Nacional del Consumo, Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad, Spain 3: Science & Education, The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A.;, Email: 4: Research School of Chemistry, Building 33, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia 5: Department of Biology and Geology. ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, Madrid 28933, Spain

Publication date: October 22, 2013

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