Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Taxonomic resolution of the Tetratheca hirsuta (Elaeocarpaceae) species complex using an integrative approach

E. M. Joyce A D , R. Butcher A B , M. Byrne A C , P. F. Grierson A , M. Hankinson C and K. R. Thiele A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

B Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.

C Science and Conservation Division, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: lizzymjoyce@gmail.com

Australian Systematic Botany 30(1) 1-25 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB16040
Submitted: 10 October 2016  Accepted: 9 November 2016   Published: 31 May 2017

Abstract

The Tetratheca hirsuta Lindl. species complex from south-west Western Australia is one of the last unresolved complexes in this Australian endemic genus, and comprises the highly variable T. hirsuta, two rare, phrase-named taxa, and the closely allied T. hispidissima Steetz. An integrative approach, incorporating multivariate morphometric analysis and molecular phylogenetic and phenetic analyses of nrDNA (ETS) and cpDNA (ndhF–trnL, rpl16, trnS–trnG5ʹ2S), was used to investigate taxonomic boundaries within the complex. Morphological data showed clear divergence within the complex, and allowed several taxonomically uncertain individuals to be assigned. Phenetic and phylogenetic analyses of ETS showed substantial congruence with morphology, indicating that the groups recognised through morphometric analyses are also genetically divergent. By comparison, the chloroplast regions yielded incongruent gene trees, perhaps owing to incomplete lineage sorting, hybridisation or slow evolution of cpDNA. The present results support the recognition of the following four taxa: a morphologically and geographically expanded T. hispidissima, which is highly divergent from the remainder of the complex, and a closer grouping of T. hirsuta subsp. boonanarring Joyce & R.Butcher subsp. nov., T. hirsuta subsp. viminea (Lindl.) Joyce comb. et stat. nov. and T. hirsuta subsp. hirsuta.


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