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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Bardy, Katharina E. [1], Schoenswetter, Peter [2], Schneeweiss, Gerald M. [2], Fischer, Manfred A. [1], Albach, Dirk C. [3].

Phylogeography, polyploid evolution, and taxonomy of Veronica (Plantaginaceae) in southeastern Europe.

Southeastern Europe is a centre of European biodiversity, but very little is known about factors causing the observed richness. Here we address such questions by reconstructing spatio-temporal diversification, evolution and hybridization patterns of the woodland Veronica chamaedrys group and the grassland V. spicata (syn. Pseudolysimachion s. ) group (Plantaginaceae) using ploidy level estimation, molecular markers (AFLPs, plastid DNA sequences) and morphometry. In the taxonomically intricate V. chamaedrys group, diploids and tetraploids are widespread across the entire investigated region, but predominate on the southern Balkan Peninsula. Polyploids originated several times independently usually via autopolyploidy. Two of the identified plastid lineages coincide with geographically distinct AFLP clusters, but genetic groups are neither congruent with current taxonomy nor do they correlate with morphometric and karyological groups. Instead, genetic data suggest several distinct forest refugia (e.g., Carpathians, Greece) and the recognition of only two subspecies within a morphologically and cytologically variable V. chamaedrys. In V. barrelieri, V. orchidea and V. spicata of the V. spicata group, numerous geographically restricted intraspecific taxa have been described from southeastern Europe. In agreement with early biosystematic investigations, genetic data show that hybridization played a major role in the evolution of this group on both the diploid and the tetraploid level and that most intraspecific taxa actually are of hybridogenic origin. Although three core types can be identified based on morphological and genetic data, these are amply connected by hybrid forms with often incongruent morphological and genetic constitutions. In conclusion, we show that also on the Balkan Pensinula, where high species diversity is usually explained with the refugial character of this region, gene flow and polyploidization are important drivers of diversification.

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1 - University of Vienna, Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Rennweg 14, Vienna, A-1030, Austria
2 - University of Vienna, Department of Biogeography, Rennweg 14, Vienna, A-1030, Austria
3 - Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky-Str. 9-11, Oldenburg, D-26111, Germany

Balkan Peninsula
species diversity.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 38
Location: 555A/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 38003
Abstract ID:317

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