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Systematics Section / ASPT

Gillespie, Emily L. [1], Reece, L. Court [1], Murrell, Zack E. [1].

Morphometric Analysis of Species Boundaries in the Carex eburnea Complex.

The Carex eburnea complex (Carex Section Albae) is comprised of two named species, C. eburnea and C. mckittrikensis. These two species, along with two apparently closely related species, C. alba and C. ussuriensis, were the subject of a morphological analysis to examine species boundaries in the complex and to explore evolutionary relationships in Section Albae. Although little is known of relationships of other Carex to this section, we used C. brunnea (Carex Section Graciles) as an outgroup taxon for character polarization in the ingroup, based on molecular data. A distribution map was generated for the complex using 798 specimens from 11 herbaria. Analysis was performed on 124 specimens, with 91 from C. eburnea, and 6-10 from each of the other four taxa. Each specimen was measured for 28 characters. Univariate statistical analysis and analysis of missing data indicated that 14 of the measurements were useful in evaluating variation among the five taxa. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was conducted on both the 14 raw variables and 12 ratios generated from the raw data. PCAs were used to compare variation within the section Albae and within the C. eburnea complex. PCA analysis using raw and ratio data showed that C. mckittrickensis could be easily differentiated from C. eburnea with the raw data, but was clustered with C. eburnea using the ratios. These results suggest that the differences between these two taxa are more a function of size (C. mckittrickensis is larger) than shape. Morphological and biogeographical analyses indicate that the C. mckittrickensis population is no more divergent than any other population of C. eburnea and does not merit recognition as a segregate species.

1 - Appalachian State University, Biology, 572 Rivers Street, Boone, North Carolina, 28608, USA

species delimitation

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 32-86
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:764

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