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Lumping or splitting? The case of Racomitrium (Bryophytina: Grimmiaceae)

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The genus Racomitrium (Grimmiaceae: Racomitrioideae) was recently segregated into four genera—Racomitrium, Niphotrichum, Codriophorus, and Bucklandiella—following an infrageneric division originally proposed more than 100 years ago based on morphological traits such as the presence and shape of laminal cell papillae and hyaline leaf hairpoints, and differences in peristome teeth morphology and costa structure. Here we present a molecular phylogeny of Racomitrium s.l. based on nuclear ITS and plastid rps4-trnL and trnK/matK-psbA sequences, to test the monophyly of these four morphological entities. Our results solely support the monophyly of Racomitrium s.str., which includes only R. geronticum, R. lanuginosum, and R. pruinosum, while the members of the other segregate genera are distributed in different clades, rendering them polyphyletic (Bucklandiella, Codriophorus) or paraphyletic (Niphotrichum). Ancestral state reconstruction shows high levels of homoplasy in the characters usually used for the infrageneric division of Racomitrium s.l. (i.e., leaf papillae shape, perichaetial leaves morphology). Based on this evidence, we propose a return to a broader concept of Racomitrium, and adopt a revised sectional classification. Therefore, we propose new combinations for some recently described species of Bucklandiella and Codriophorus.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Botánica, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile, Nees-Institut für Biodiversität der Pflanzen, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany, Science & Education, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.;, Email: [email protected] 2: Nees-Institut für Biodiversität der Pflanzen, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany 3: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands 4: Real Jardín Botánico (RJB-CSIC), Plaza de Murillo 2, 28014 Madrid, Spain, Centro de Investigación de la Biodiversidad y Cambio Climático, Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Machala y Sabanilla, Quito, Ecuador

Publication date: 2013-12-20

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