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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Ronsted, Nina [1], Weiblen, George D [2], Savolainen, Vincent [3], Cook, James M [4].

Phylogenetics and diversification of Ficus section Malvanthera in Australia and New Guinea.

We present the first molecular phylogenetic study of Ficus section Malvanthera (Moraceae). Section Malvanthera includes 23 species in two distinct groups: a group of hemiepiphytic stranglers and freestanding trees in the rainforests of Eastern Australia and New Guinea and a group of lithophytic shrubs and trees occurring in open habitats in more arid parts of Australia. We analysed DNA sequences from the nuclear internal and external transcribed spacers (ITS and ETS), and the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3pdh) region. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches defined section Malvanthera as monophyletic and supported exclusion of the enigmatic species Ficus elastica. The results of the phylogenetic analyses do not conform to any of the previously proposed subdivisions of the section and morphological characters used for previous subdivisions appear to be homoplasious. Instead the phylogeny corresponds strongly with biogeography. The section has its primary centre of diversification in Australia and a second centre in New Guinea. A few species extends eastwards into the pacific. Within Australia, there is a pattern of radiation out of the rainforest into drier habitats. All species of figs share the distinctive fig inflorescence (syconium), which is the site of a classic mutualism with pollinating fig wasps of the family Agaonidae. Comparison of phylogenetic hypotheses for the figs and their pollinating wasps (genus Pleistodontes) show significant but not perfect cospeciation.

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1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom
2 - University of Minnesota, Department of Plant Biology, 250 Biological Sciences, 1445 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108, USA
3 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jodrell Laboratory, Molecular Systematics Section, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom
4 - University of Reading, School of Biological Sciences, Reading, RG6 6AS, United Kingdom

Habitat use

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: CP43
Location: Stevens 3/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: CP43002
Abstract ID:851

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