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Phylogenetic inference of New Caledonian lineages of Sapindaceae: Molecular evidence requires a reassessment of generic circumscriptions

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Sapindaceae (Sapindales) are a conspicuous and diversified element of the New Caledonian flora, with ca. 67 species (ca. 90 % endemic) in 13 genera (four endemic: Gongrodiscus, Loxodiscus, Podonephelium, Storthocalyx). The phylogeny of New Caledonian Sapindaceae is inferred by adding 97 new samples, encompassing the full distributional and morphological range of the archipelago's genera, to a broad plastid and nuclear DNA sequence dataset that is representative of the family worldwide. Results from phylogenetic analyses indicate that members of the family on New Caledonia belong to two major clades, the Dodonaea group (placed within subfamily Dodonaeoideae) and the Cupania group (subfamily Sapindoideae), which exhibit strikingly different species diversities (ca. 89% of the species on New Caledonia belong to the Cupania group). Results support the monophyly of all four endemic genera and most of those that also occur elsewhere, with the exception of the morphologically similar Austro-Pacific genera Arytera and Cupaniopsis, both of which have representatives in each of two well-supported subclades within the Cupania group, suggesting at least two dispersals to New Caledonia (most likely from Australia). The results provide a robust phylogenetic framework for ongoing taxonomic revisions of Sapindaceae genera on New Caledonia and for investigating the spatio-temporal history of the family in this biogeographically intriguing archipelago, although expanded sampling (including from other areas) and further analyses will be required to resolve generic limits among the taxa currently placed in Arytera and Cupaniopsis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, U.K.;, Email: [email protected] 2: Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, U.K. 3: Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-0299, U.S.A., Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la ville de Genève, ch. de l'Impératrice 1, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland 4: Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-0299, U.S.A., Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle de Paris (UMR 7205), Case Postale 39, 57 rue Cuvier, 75231 05 CEDEX, Paris, France 5: IRD, UMR AMAP, Laboratoire de Botanique et d'Écologie Appliquées, Herbarium NOU, 98848 Nouvelle-Calédonie; IRD, UMR AMAP, Montpellier, 34000 France

Publication date: 21 February 2012

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