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Abstract Detail

Leveraging the use of herbarium collections in modern systematics—examples from Pteridology

McHenry, Monique [1], Barrington, David S. [2].

Using herbarium specimens to redefine species boundaries: a case study of the fern genus Polystichum in the Andes.

Problematic fern genera present problems in species delimitation that hinder progress towards modern, phylogenetically based revision work. To inform a systematic revision of the fern genus Polystichum Roth in the Andes we made effective use of morphologic data extracted from herbarium specimens in coining working hypotheses for species boundaries. Our preliminary concept of species is that they are sets of plants separated by morphological discontinuities and sterile hybrids (inferred from irregular spores). A review of herbarium specimens led us to postulate 20 described and four undescribed species in the study group. We were able to then test our preliminary hypotheses based on herbarium specimens by 1) using field work to assess the reality of morphological discontinuities and 2) using molecular analysis to assess the monophyly of proposed species. With our improved species delimitations we will move on to exploring species divergence and the origin of biological diversity in the northern and central Andes, a center of endemism characterized by recent prolific speciation.

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1 - University of Vermont, Plant Biology, 109 Carrigan Dr, Burlington, VT, 05630, United States
2 - University of Vermont, Department of Botany, 109 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, Vermont, 05405-0086, USA


Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY3
Location: Ballroom C/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 9:10 AM
Number: SY3004
Abstract ID:99

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