rbcL phylogeny of the fern genus Trichomanes (Hymenophyllaceae), with special reference to Neotropical taxa

Journal Article

In order to estimate evolutionary relationships within the filmy fern genus Trichomanes (Hymenophyllaceae), we performed a phylogenetic analysis using rbcL nucleotide data from 46 species of Trichomanes belonging to all four of C. V. Morton's subgenera: Achomanes, Didymoglossum, Pachychaetum, and Trichomanes. Outgroups included four species of Hymenophyllum in three different subgenera, plus the monotypic genus Cardiomanes, from New Zealand. We find high resolution and robust support at most nodes, regardless of the phylogenetic optimization criterion used (maximum parsimony or maximum likelihood). Two species belonging to Morton's Asiatic sections Callistopteris and Cephalomanes are in unresolved basal positions within Trichomanes s.l., suggesting that rbcL data alone are inadequate for estimating the earliest cladogenetic events. Out of the four Morton trichomanoid subgenera, only subg. Didymoglossum appears monophyletic. Other noteworthy results include the following: (1) lianescent sect. Lacostea is more closely related to sect. Davalliopsis (traditionally placed in subg. Pachychaetum) than to other members of subg. Achomanes; (2) sections Davalliopsis and Lacostea, together with species of the morphologically different subg. Achomanes, make up a strongly supported Neotropical clade; (3) all hemiepiphytes (but not true lianas) and strictly epiphytic or epipetric species (Morton's subgenera Trichomanes and Didymoglossum) group together in an ecologically definable clade that also includes the terrestrial sect. Nesopteris; and (4) sect. Lacosteopsis (sensu Morton) is polyphyletic and comprises two distantly related clades: large hemiepiphytic climbers and small strictly epiphytic/epipetric taxa. Each of these associations is somewhat unexpected but is supported by cytological, geographical, and/or ecological evidence. We conclude that many morphological characters traditionally used for delimiting groups within Trichomanes are, in part, plesiomorphic or homoplastic. Additionally, we discuss probable multiple origins of Neotropical Trichomanes.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dubuisson, J-Y; Hennequin, S; Douzery, EJP; Cranfill, RB; Smith, AR; Pryer, KM

Published Date

  • 2003

Published In

  • International Journal of Plant Sciences

Volume / Issue

  • 164 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 753 - 761