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

Morphological and molecular data show Synostemon trachyspermus (Phyllanthaceae, Phyllantheae) to be a heterogeneous species assemblage

Ian R. H. Telford A E , Kanchana Pruesapan B , Peter C. van Welzen C D and Jeremy J. Bruhl A

A Botany and N. C. W. Beadle Herbarium, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.

B Plant Variety Protection Office, Department of Agriculture, 50 Paholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.

C Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Botany Department, PO Box 9517, NL-2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands.

D Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, PO Box 9505, NL-2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands.

E Corresponding author. Email: itelford@une.edu.au

Australian Systematic Botany 29(3) 218-234 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB16008
Submitted: 22 March 2016  Accepted: 2 September 2016   Published: 29 November 2016

Abstract

Synostemon trachyspermus (F.Muell.) I.Telford & Pruesapan (Phyllanthaceae, Phyllantheae) is shown, by morphological studies and phylogenetic analysis using nrITS DNA sequence data, to be a heterogeneous species assemblage of four species. Phyllanthus rhytidospermus F.Muell. ex Müll.Arg., with a new combination provided as Synostemon rhytidospermus (F.Muell. ex Müll.Arg.) I.Telford & Pruesapan, and Sauropus hubbardii Airy Shaw, with a new combination as Synostemon hubbardii (Airy Shaw) I.Telford & Pruesapan, are re-instated as species. Phyllanthus arnhemicus S.Moore is lectotypified and placed in synonomy under Synostemon lissocarpus (S.Moore) I.Telford & Pruesapan, which is the new combination provided for Phyllanthus lissocarpus S.Moore (syn. Sauropus lissocarpus (S.Moore) Airy Shaw). Synostemon umbrosus I.Telford & J.J.Bruhl, a rare endemic from the Kimberley, Western Australia, is named as new. The newly described S. hamersleyensis I.Telford & Naaykens, endemic to the Pilbara, Western Australia, and the north-eastern Queensland endemic Sauropus aphyllus J.T.Hunter & J.J.Bruhl are shown to be closely related; the new combination Synostemon aphyllus (J.T.Hunter & J.J.Bruhl) I.Telford & Pruesapan is provided for the latter. Sauropus sp. A of Flora of the Kimberley Region, previously included within S. trachyspermus sens.lat., shows a more distant relationship and is named as Synostemon judithae I.Telford & J.J.Bruhl. Notes on distribution, habitat, phenology, conservation status, photomicrographs of seeds and a key to identification of the species are provided.


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