, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 148–175 | Cite as

Genetic Diversity in the Worldwide Botrychium lunaria (Ophioglossaceae) Complex, with New Species and New Combinations

  • Mary Clay StensvoldEmail author
  • Donald R. Farrar


The Botrychium lunaria (Ophioglossaceae) complex worldwide includes the named species B. lunaria, B. crenulatum, B. tunux, and B. yaaxudakeit. These species have been distinguished from each other morphologically and genetically. This study further investigates the genetic diversity and geographic distribution of this complex, examining a large number of plants worldwide. Enzyme electrophoresis was used to examine allelic variation of 22 loci for 1574 plants of putative B. lunaria, B. crenulatum and B. tunux from North America, Eurasia, and New Zealand, and B. dusenii from the Falkland Islands. Variation in allelic composition assessed by genetic identity and cluster analysis using the programs PopGene and STRUCTURE as well as morphology and geography indicated that the complex is composed of six distinct entities; two of which warrant recognition as new species, B. neolunaria, endemic to North America, and B. nordicum, sister to the B. lunaria complex, from Iceland and Norway; and a new combination, B. lunaria var. melzeri , endemic to Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. The new taxa are described in this paper. Three entities within B. tunux are discussed but not proposed for recognition at this time. Botrychium lanceolatum, included in this study, is composed of three morphologically and genetically distinct entities warranting taxonomic recognition.


Cryptic species Genetic diversity Enzyme electrophoresis Allelic variation Taxonomic revision New taxa of Botrychium 



We especially thank Peter Struck for making large collections of Botrychium in Iceland and Greenland, Peter Zika for collections in Iceland, Newfoundland and Alaska, John Bjarne Jordal, John Inge Johnsen, Dag Holtan and Tor Tønsberg for very helpful collections as well as working with Stensvold in Norway. Chanda Riedel Skelton for wonderful work in the lab, processing specimens, assisting with setting up and running the electrophoresis. Jennifer DeWoody for valuable assistance with the admixture (STRUCTURE) analysis. Iowa State University, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Forest Service and Parks Canada provided financial and logistical support for this work.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SitkaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal BiologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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