Morphometric analyses and species delimitation in Legousia (Campanulaceae)

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Abstract

In order to evaluate the traditional morphological characters commonly used to distinguish the taxonomically problematic species of Legousia, we carried out a morphometric study with univariate analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), discriminant analysis (DA) and cluster analysis (UPGMA). The analyses were based on data from 436 individuals on 207 herbarium specimens from 18 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia representing all recently accepted species of the genus. Legousia falcata was found clearly distinct based on binary characters, L. falcata and L. hybrida were separated using refined binary and continuous characters, whereas L. pentagonia, L. snogerupii and L. speculum-veneris were all mixed in a single cluster, as were L. castellana, L. falcata and L. scabra. In a further refined sampling, L. snogerupii was separated by PCA, DA and UPGMA, but L. pentagonia and L. speculum-veneris were still indistinguishable and formed a single mixed cluster. Based on the results, we propose to reduce L. castellana and L. scabra to synonyms of L. falcata, and L. skvortsovii to a synonym of L. hybrida, while subspecific rank is proposed for L. pentagonia as L. speculum-veneris subsp. pentagonia, comb. & stat. nov. A key and nomenclatural synopsis of accepted taxa is provided and their geographic distribution is outlined.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Botany
  • Biological Systematics

Keywords

  • cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, herbarium specimens, Legousia, morphometry, principal component analysis, Specularia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalWilldenowia
Volume49
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 25
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes