Geographic variation in flower color patterns within Calceolaria uniflora Lam. in Southern Patagonia
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Infraspecific variation in flower colors was evaluated in 26 populations of Calceolaria uniflora Lam. in Southern Patagonia, Argentina. Computerized analysis of high-resolution photo-images was used to estimate the proportions of red, orange and yellow in surfaces of two corolla parts, “instep” and “throat”, in field samples of 20–35 flowers per population. The between-populations component accounted for 48% of variance for instep colors and 24% for throat colors. Geographic differentiation was found between populations with a uniform red instep in the Andes in the west, and populations with a maculate yellow-and-red instep in the Magellanic steppe to the east. Mixed populations occurred in a transition zone. Throat colors showed a different, north-south geographic trend. Based on color pattern and distribution, two subspecies may be differentiated within C. uniflora. Their overall geographic distribution is related to climate and vegetation, but their detailed distribution is better explained by isolation by distance and barriers to gene flow.
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