Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 193, Issue 1–4, pp 37–52 | Cite as

Molecules and morphology: Congruence of data inColumnea (Gesneriaceae)

  • James F. Smith
  • Kenneth J. Sytsma


The cladistic analysis and comparison of molecular and morphological data has been the source of much recent debate. In this study, independent analyses of molecular and morphological data fromColumnea L. sects.Pentadenia andStygnanthe (Gesneriaceae) are compared. Comparative methods include consensus, visually comparing trees from independent analyses and combined data analysis. Consensus methods provided little resolution. Comparison of trees obtained from the independent analyses revealed some differences although the trees are highly similar. However, a combined analysis found that the level of incongruence between the two data sets was low. The tree resulting from the combined data has aspects of both the morphological and molecular trees despite the larger number of molecular characters. In addition, the combined data tree has greater resolution than either of the two data sets singly, indicating that the two types of data are congruent, and complementary to each other.

Key words

Gesneriaceae Columnea Chloroplast DNA morphology congruence cladistics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Smith
    • 1
  • Kenneth J. Sytsma
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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