Jolles, Diana D. .
Morphometric analysis of floral variation within the Pyrola picta species complex (Pyroleae: Monotropoideae: Ericaceae) and potential implications for ecological and phylogenetic differentiation.
The Pyrola picta species complex contains closely related taxa that are typically differentiated by characteristics of their leaf morphology. Despite the apparent homogeneity of floral characters in the group, these taxa appear to be genetically distinct. Additionally, some aspects of floral symmetry and reproductive morphology suggest that flowers may be exhibiting variations on a single pollination syndrome, subject to natural selection by pollinators. For the current study, herbarium specimens from across the geographic range of three taxa within the P. picta complex were used to measure 17 floral characteristics. Variation within androecial, gynoecial, and non-essential floral characters was explored and these data were subjected to multivariate statistical analyses to see (1) whether traditionally recognized taxa can be distinguished by floral characters alone, (2) whether taxa can be distinguished by suites of floral characters, and (3) whether floral variation within and between taxa can be explained by geographic variation. Several floral characters describe a morphological gradient along which each taxon in the P. picta species complex is loosely organized, whereas variation within other characters is geographically structured. Pyrola dentata exhibits considerable reduction in ten of the characters measured relative to P. picta and P. aphylla. Additionally, variation within two morphological characters corresponds to longitudinal spatial separation between the Rocky Mountains and western mountain ranges closer to the Pacific coast.
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1 - Portland State University, Department of Biology, 1719 SW 10th Avenue, SB2 Room 246, Portland, OR, 97201, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Cottonwood D/Snowbird Center
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 10:15 AM