Is Rhizoplaca (Lecanorales, lichenized Ascomycota) a monophyletic genus?

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Rhizoplaca Zopf is a genus characterized by an umbilicate thallus with an upper and a lower cortex, as well as a cupulate hypothecium. It has been considered to be related to Lecanora Ach., the type genus of the Lecanoraceae and, in particular, to the lobate species of this genus. The phylogeny of Rhizoplaca, the monotypic Arctopeltis thuleana Poelt, and a number of representatives of different groups of Lecanora is studied, using sequences from the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The results suggest an origin for Rhizoplaca species within the large genus Lecanora. A well-supported monophyletic assemblage includes the umbilicate type species Rhizoplaca melanophthalma (DC.) Leuck. & Poelt, the lobate Lecanora novomexicana H. Magn., and five vagrant Rhizoplaca species. Rhizoplaca chrysoleuca (Sm.) Zopf and Rhizoplaca subdicrepans (Nyl.) R. Sant. form a separate well-supported group and Rhizoplaca peltata (Ram.) Leuck. & Poelt is more closely related to Lecanora muralis (Schreb.) Rabenh. Together with data on secondary chemistry, the results show that the umbilicate thallus with a lower and an upper cortex, as well as apothecia with a cupulate hypothecium found in Rhizoplaca and A. thuleana, have developed several times in independant lineages in Lecanora. The thallus morphology in lecanoroid lichens is highly variable and does not necessarily reflect phylogenetic relationships.


  • Ulf Arup
  • M Grube
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-327
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Department of Ecology (Closed 2011) (011006010)

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