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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Penneys, Darin S. [1], Almeda, Frank [2], Michelangeli, Fabian [3], Fritsch, Peter W. [4].

Progress towards a revised classification of the Melastomataceae.

Melastomataceae (the Princess Flower family) comprise ca. 170 genera and over 5000 species distributed primarily in humid, tropical and subtropical environments worldwide. Melastomes are important to ecosystem functioning as they are often abundant in forests, providing critical food sources for animals seeking pollen, nectar, and/or berry fruits. Traditional family-level classifications based on morphological characters have mostly recognized between nine and 13 tribes. In most schemes, individual tribes have been considered to be restricted to either the Neotropics or Paleotropics. In order to test earlier hypotheses of relationships, biogeographical distributions, and patterns of morphological character change within the Melastomataceae, the most comprehensive data set to date was assembled and analyzed with Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic methods. Taxon sampling included 1105 OTUs representing 152 genera, plus additional outgroup taxa and sequence data for ca 6800 aligned bp (nrETS, nrITS, accD-psaI, ndhF, psbK-psbL, rbcL, rpl16). These analyses indicate that only the two long-recognized subfamilies and one tribe within the family are monophyletic; a new classification for the Melastomataceae derived from this phylogeny is thus proposed. The results show that at least six strongly supported clades must be recognized as new tribes; additional sampling is needed to confirm the placement of several isolated lineages. Furthermore, dozens of genera appear to be non-monophyletic, and many have been incorrectly assigned to tribes on the basis of homoplasious morphological characters. This study suggests that four tribes have pantropical distributions likely attributable to multiple long-distance dispersal events. The remaining 16 lineages are restricted to either the New World or the Old World. Systematists have made good progress investigating Neotropical members of the family, but much more extensive sampling of Paleotropical clades is needed to clarify tribal and generic circumscriptions. The Sonerileae, a tribe that currently includes about 50 poorly understood genera and over 1000 species, is particularly problematic because of undercollection, understudy, and generic overdescription of regional variants. Our preliminary evidence suggests rampant paraphyly in the Sonerileae reminiscent of the situation in the Miconieae, albeit with the possibility of eventually accepting numerous, mutually exclusive genera.

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Related Links:

1 - University of North Carolina Wilmington, Biology and Marine Biology, 601 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC, 28403, USA
2 - California Academy of Sciences, Botany, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94118, USA
3 - The New York Botanical Garden, Institute Of Systematic Botany, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
4 - California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94118-4503, United States

character evolution

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19
Location: Salon 9/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: 19009
Abstract ID:1211
Candidate for Awards:None

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