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Phylogenomics of the Palm Tribe Lepidocaryeae (Calamoideae: Arecaceae) and Description of a New Species of Mauritiella

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The palm tribe Lepidocaryeae (Arecaceae) comprises seven genera and 51 currently accepted species that are distributed in lowland tropical forests and savannas across Africa and the Americas. Subtribal relationships within Lepidocaryeae have been a persistent challenge, limiting our understanding of its systematics, morphology, and biogeography. Several aspects make the tribe an ideal system to study plant evolution and diversity: it is well-represented in the fossil record as a prolific pollen producer, its continental diversity contradicts common biodiversity patterns of lower species richness in Africa in comparison to South America, and it contains one of the most abundant Amazonian tree species, Mauritia flexuosa. Here, we investigated the systematics of the tribe by sampling 122 individuals representing 42 species (82% of the tribe), using target sequence capture. We recovered nearly 10,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms from nuclear and plastid DNA across 146 target sequences to separately infer a phylogenomic tree. Our results strongly support inter-generic and inter-specific relationships, where a majority of nodes were resolved with over 90% bootstrap support. We also identify strong phylogenetic support for the recognition of a new species from central and south Amazonia, Mauritiella disticha . The distichous phyllotaxy is diagnostic of the species within the genus. Rare and currently only known from the middle-lower Madeira River basin in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, M. disticha is restricted to open vegetation and forest edges growing in white sand habitats with saturated or well-drained soils. Our preliminary red list assessment suggests its threatened status to be vulnerable (VU). We use our phylogenomic inference to define and contextualize systematic relationships in the tribe, and present a formal species description.

Keywords: Africa; Amazonia; Amazônia; Palmae; filogenômica; phylogenomics; África

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 1Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden 2: 3Laboratório de Ecologia e Evolução de Plantas da Amazônia (Labotam), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, CEP 69011-970, Manaus, Brazil 3: 4German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Halle-Jena-Leipzig 04103, Leipzig, Germany 4: 6Colecoes Zoologicas - Aves, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, CEP 69011-970, Manaus, Brazil 5: 7Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Parque Nacional do Juruena, CEP 78580-970 Mato Grosso, Brazil 6: 8Programa Nacional de Pós-Doutorado, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas, P.O. Box 6109, Brazil 7: 10DIADE, Univ Montpellier, CIRAD, IRD, Montpellier, France 8: 11Plant Systematics and Ecology Laboratory, Department of Biology, High Teachers’ Training College, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon 9: 12Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge CB2 1JE, United Kingdom 10: 13Laboratório de Genética & Biodiversidade, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 74001-970, Brazil 11: 14Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, TW9 3AE Richmond, United Kingdom

Publication date: October 25, 2021

This article was made available online on October 25, 2021 as a Fast Track article with title: "Phylogenomics of the Palm Tribe Lepidocaryeae (Calamoideae: Arecaceae) and Description of a New Species of Mauritiella".

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