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

Phenotypic disparity and adaptive radiation in the genus Cladia (Lecanorales, Ascomycota)

H. Thorsten Lumbsch A E , Sittiporn Parnmen B C , Achariya Rangsiruji C and John A. Elix D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA.

B Herbarium, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkamhaeng University, Bangkok 10140, Thailand.

C Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.

D Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Building 33, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: tlumbsch@fieldmuseum.org

Australian Systematic Botany 23(4) 239-247 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB10010
Submitted: 4 March 2009  Accepted: 15 June 2010   Published: 31 August 2010

Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships of the genera Cladia, Heterodea and Ramalinora were reconstructed using a combined dataset of ribosomal nuclear ITS and LSU and mitochondrial SSU, and protein-coding Mcm7 DNA sequences. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses strongly supported a monophyletic group in which the species of the foliose genus Heterodea and the crustose genus Ramalinora were nested within the fruticose genus Cladia. Alternative hypothesis testing rejected an independent status of Ramalinora. We tested the hypothesis that an adaptive radiation led to the morphological disparity found in the Cladia clade. Gamma-statistics indicated a significantly disproportional clustering of origins of extant lineages at the base of the Cladia clade and lineage-through-time plots were also consistent with the hypothesis of an adaptive radiation at the base of the Cladia clade. Ancestral-range reconstructions supported an origin of Cladia and the three major lineages within Cladia in Australia. On the basis of these results, we propose an evolutionary hypothesis for the genus. The results suggest that processes of adaptive radiation of the ancestor of Cladia in Australia led to the morphological disparity in the extant taxa, and that the broad distribution of some extant species is due to subsequent long-distance dispersal.


Acknowledgements

We thank Gintaras Kantvilas (Hobart) for providing us with material and for helping us organise a field trip to Tasmania and Roderick W. Rogers for a recent collection of Ramalinora glaucolivida. Newly obtained DNA sequences were generated in the Pritzker Laboratory for Molecular Systematics and Evolution at the Field Museum. Erin Sackett-Herman and Fabian Ernemann (Chicago) are thanked for performing most of the work in the molecular laboratory. We also thank the RAMK herbarium staff for their kindness and support. This work was financially supported by a Scholarship of The Field Museum to SP and the National Research Council of Thailand.


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