Rothfels, Carl , Windham, Michael D. , Pryer, Kathleen M. , Metzgar, Jordan S. , Grusz, Amanda L. .
Making Fronds in the Desert: Phylogenetics of Farinose Ferns (Notholaena: Pteridaceae).
Cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae) are a diverse and ecologically important clade, unusual among ferns for their ability to colonize and diversify within xeric habitats. Extensive morphological homoplasy, usually attributed to convergent evolution driven by their extreme habitats, has thwarted attempts to discern natural relationships within the cheilanthoids. Here we present the first multi-gene phylogeny to focus on taxa traditionally assigned to the large genus Notholaena. New World taxa (Notholaena sensu Tryon) are only distantly related to species occurring in the Old World (Notholaena sensu Pichi-Sermolli). Tryon’s inclusion of Argyrochosma within Notholaena makes even the New World assemblage polyphyletic. Furthermore, even the recent strict circumscription of Notholaena (sensu Windham) is shown to be paraphyletic, with species usually assigned to Cheilanthes and Cheiloplecton nested within it. The position of Cheiloplecton is particularly surprising—with its well-developed false indusium and non-farinose blade, it is morphologically anomalous within the “Notholaena clade.” In addition to revealing natural relationships, our phylogeny allows us to clarify outstanding nomenclatural issues and explore character evolution within this diverse, desert-adapted clade.
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1 - Duke University, Biology, Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
3 - Duke University, Department of Biology, 139 Biological Sciences Building, PO Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina, 27708, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Lake Michigan/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 10:30 AM