Systematics Section / ASPT
Olmstead, Richard , Donovan, Craig , Lingwood, Portia .
Phylogenetic fallout: A preliminary phylogenetic assessment of what’s left of the Verbenaceae..
Verbenaceae are not the family they used to be. Verbenaceae were once a grab-bag for asterid plants with irregular corollas and ovaries divided into two 2-seeded carpels (though not quite so divided as to have a gynobasic style and, thus, be placed in the Lamiaceae), but recent phylogenetic studies have whittled them down to a core of approximately 40 genera and 1000 species. The biggest change involves the wholesale transfer of some ten tribes and over 50 genera to the Lamiaceae, but several smaller groups have been segregated into their own or other families as well. What remains in family Verbenaceae comprises most of the traditional subfamily Verbenoideae. Verbenaceae are predominantly New World in distribution with representation found in habitats ranging from tropical wet forests to temperate desert to high Andean ecosystems. Preliminary results show that present tribal circumscriptions are artificial and that the few large genera, which dominate the family in terms of numbers of species, and the many very small genera that comprise most of the genus-level diversity, also are not consistent with a monophyletic classification. Evolutionary trends in Verbenaceae appear to involve an origin in the wet Neotropics as woody trees or lianas with subsequent diversification into temperate zones concomitant with the evolution of herbaceousness in multiple lineages. Diversification in Africa has occurred in at least two lineages.
1 - University of Washington, Biology, Seattle, Washington, 98195-5325
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Cottonwood A (Snowbird Center)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 11:15 AM