The evolution and diversity of the genus Bulbostylis (Abildgaardieae, Cyperaceae)

ID: 613 / 468

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: The evolution and diversity of the genus Bulbostylis (Abildgaardieae, Cyperaceae)


Jeremie Morel1,2,*, Fitiavana Rasaminirina3,6, Juliene Maciel-Silva1,4,5, Vonjison Rakotoarimanana3, Vincent Savolainen2, André S. B. Gil5 & Isabel Larridon1,7

Affiliations: 1 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, UK 2 Imperial College London, London, UK 3 University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar 4 Federal Rural University of Amazon, Belém, Brazil 5 Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, Brazil 6 Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Antananarivo, Madagascar 7 Ghent University, Department of Biology, Systematic and Evolutionary Botany Lab, Gent, Belgium


The genus Bulbostylis (hairsedges) includes 227 species worldwide. The taxonomic history of this genus is quite complex, and limited DNA data is available. This lack of data means that species delimitation and evolutionary relationships are unclear, and thus the study of character evolution and biogeographical history of Bulbostylis is hampered. Thus, three PhD projects are currently devoted to this genus, working on three centres of diversity of Bulbostylis: Africa, Brazil and Madagascar. These different regions respectively include 127, 52 and 25 accepted species of Bulbostylis, representing around 90% of the total diversity of the genus. Consequently, the aim of these projects is to gain a better understanding of the diversity, evolution, and conservation of Bulbostylis on a large and local scale. To this end, a joint project is underway to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the genus as well as its biogeographical history using a phylogenomic approach. Secondly, integrative taxonomic studies at local scale are ongoing to clarify species delimitation based on phylogenomic data with extensive sampling of species complexes, (micro)morphological and anatomical data; and distribution data. Preliminary results for these regions include:  thirteen herbaria visited, ten fieldtrips undertaken, discovery of new species to science (e.g. Bulbostylis itremoensis from Madagascar), new herbarium specimens and DNA samples of Africa, Neotropical and Madagascan species, discovery of new anatomical characters for species delimitation; 212 newly extracted DNA samples sequenced with the Angiosperms353 targeted sequencing probes. Our study generates a large, accurate dataset. The future integration of this information may contribute to demonstrate patterns of diversity that allow the identification of important areas for conservation studies and provide new insights on ecological and evolutionary understanding in areas of high biodiversity.

Symposia selection: 16, ,

Key words: Angiosperms353, biodiversity, biogeography, phylogenomics, taxonomy