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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 26(5)

Cryptic speciation and species diversity among Australian and New Zealand hornwort taxa of Megaceros (Dendrocerotaceae)

D. Christine Cargill A B D, Nicole G. F. Vella C, Ish Sharma A B and Joseph T. Miller B

A Australian National Botanic Gardens, GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
B Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
C Macquarie University Microscopy Unit, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: chris.cargill@environment.gov.au

Australian Systematic Botany 26(5) 356-377 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB13030
Submitted: 12 July 2013  Accepted: 25 October 2013   Published: 20 December 2013

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Recent molecular studies have redefined families and genera within the anthocerotes, but species boundaries are only now being revised. Monophyly of Australian and New Zealand taxa within the genus Megaceros Campb., which share the same spore and similar gametophyte morphology, was assessed. On the basis of sequence data, mainland Australian lineages are not monophyletic but are interspersed with New Zealand lineages. There are three species present in Australia, including the common and widespread M. gracilis (Reichardt) Steph., the widespread tropical M. flagellaris (Mitt.) Steph., recognised by its tesselated spores, and a new species, M. austronesophilus, found only in Tasmania and Macquarie Island. None of the currently recognised New Zealand taxa is conspecific with any of the Australian taxa. However, New Zealand lineages were found to be genetically and morphologically more diverse than is currently recognised.


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