Phylogenomic data reveal the complex evolutionary history of Neotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae)
ID: 613 / 272
Proposed Symposium Title: Phylogenomic data reveal the complex evolutionary history of Neotropical Phlegmariurus (Lycopodiaceae)
Weston L. Testo
Affiliations: 1 Department of Plant Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA 2 Pringle Herbarium, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA 3 Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, USA
The clubmosses (Lycopodiaceae) are one of three extant families of lycophytes, which hold an important phylogenetic position as sister to the remaining vascular plant lineages. An ancient lineage, the Lycopodiaceae is comprised of an estimated 400 species distributed in 17 genera and presents a cosmopolitan distribution, though species richness is highest in the tropics. The most species-rich lineage of Lycopodiaceae by far is the genus Phlegmariurus, which includes at least 300 species that are distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. A handful of studies have attempted to reconstruct the evolutionary history of this clade and revealed that it has been shaped by complex biogeographic scenarios and recent rapid diversification, but these studies relied on sequence data from a handful of chloroplast loci and thus were limited in the conclusions they could draw. In this talk, I present a new perspective on the evolution of Phlegmariurus in the American tropics, based on target-capture sequence data from hundreds of nuclear loci. These data reveal previously undetected biogeographic patterns, provide evidence for reticulate evolution, and illustrate the evolutionary success of Phlegmariurus in tropical America, from lowland rainforests to alpine grasslands.