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

Phylogenetic revision of Backhousieae (Myrtaceae): Neogene divergence, a revised circumscription of Backhousia and two new species

Mark G. Harrington A G , Betsy R. Jackes B , Matthew D. Barrett C D E , Lyn A. Craven F and Russell L. Barrett C D E

A Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University, Cairns, Qld 4870, Australia.

B School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.

C Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, West Perth, WA 6005, Australia.

D School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

E Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, WA 6983, Australia.

F Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

G Corresponding author. Email: Mark.Harrington@jcu.edu.au

Australian Systematic Botany 25(6) 404-417 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB12015
Submitted: 11 May 2012  Accepted: 29 October 2012   Published: 14 December 2012

Abstract

Backhousieae is a small tribe of Myrtaceae composed of two genera (Backhousia and Choricarpia) endemic to Australia. Phylogenetic analyses (parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian) were performed on a combined chloroplast (matK, trnH–psbA, trnC–psbM, trnLF, rps16) and nuclear (internal transcribed spacers) dataset for all nine species of Backhousia, two species of Choricarpia and two undescribed species. Backhousieae is monophyletic; however, Choricarpia is embedded within Backhousia. In all analyses there were four strongly supported clades containing two to four taxa, with no support for relationships among clades, and the relationships of B. bancroftii and B. citriodora remain unresolved. Bayesian relaxed-clock molecular dating indicated that the Backhousieae has been potentially present in rainforest across Australia for more than 50 million years. The current distribution of Backhousia is inferred to be largely due to the contraction of Australian rainforest in the Neogene. New combinations in Backhousia are made for the two species of Choricarpia, and B. gundarara and B. tetraptera are described as new species. B. gundarara is known only from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, widely disjunct from the remaining Backhousia in eastern Queensland and New South Wales, and appears to be a lineage isolated by increasing aridity during the Miocene.


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