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Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Fisher, Kirsten [1].

A phylogenetic monograph of the Syrrhopodon involutus Schwaeg. complex.

Syrrhopodon is a large pantropical moss genus with substantial diversity in the paleotropics. Reese considered Syrrhopodon to be particularly problematic taxonomically, given a high degree of what he deemed "the extremely variable nature of the gametophytes" (Reese and Mohamed 1985). Understanding patterns of morphological diversity and potential mechanisms of variation is a prerequisite for establishing the validity (or invalidity) of named taxa, yet very little work has been done on characterizing a monophyletic section or complex within the genus throughout its entire geographic distribution. Furthermore, no rigorously cladistic phylogenetic studies have been conducted on any of the messy taxonomic groups in Syrrhopodon. One such taxonomically disorderly group within Syrrhopodon that is particularly worthy of study is the paleotropical assemblage of taxa constituting S. involutus in the broad sense. Since it was first described by Schwaegrichen in 1824, S. involutus has been subjected to successive bouts of taxonomic splitting and lumping, chronicled in the proliferation of species names synonymized under S. involutus by Mohamed and Reese (1985). The tumultuous taxonomic history of the S. involutus complex reflects upon one of its more interesting attributes: while a distinct and dramatic morphological feature - cancellinae occupying a majority of the leaf lamina - characterizes the group as a whole, other aspects of gametophyte morphology vary widely throughout its geographic range. Here I present a cladistically based monograph of the Syrrhopodon involutus complex. Monographs remain a critical and indispensable component of systematics, however, traditional monographic practices require some revisions if modern monographs are to truly reflect and incorporate phylogenetic understanding. I will summarize the methods I used to address issues relating to sampling and the formation of OTUs for this monograph, and emphasize the importance of carefully considering the incorporation of terminal lineages from the earliest stages of a cladistic monograph.

1 - University of California, Berkeley, Integrative Biology, University and Jepson Herbaria, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, Berkeley, California, 94720-2465, USA

tropical bryology

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 35-4
Location: Ballroom 3 (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 2:45 PM
Abstract ID:880

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