Seed coat anatomy ofCrossostylis (Rhizophoraceae): its evolutionary and systematic implications
The seed coat structure of all 13 species ofCrossostylis was studied to contribute to an understanding of species delimitation and relationships within the genus. The mature seed coat is relatively uniform and consistently constructed mainly by a well-developed exotesta and a well-developed fibrous exotegmen. The species differ in the thickness of the exotesta and exotegmen, the anatomy of exotestal cells, the presence and absence of persistent mesotesta, and so forth. On the basis of comparisons of these characters, close relationships are suggested in the species groups such as:Crossostylis banksiana andC. cominsii; C. biflora, C. raiateensis andC. multiflora; C. gandiflora, C. sebertii andC. imera; and five species in the Fiji Islands. These relationships except for those of Fijian five species are also supported by cladistics as their common characters are evaluated as synapomorphy. Species-level separation ofC. banksiana, C. pedunculata andC. raiateensis each from the closest species is doubted based on the results of seed coat structure.
Key wordsCrossostylis Evolution Rhizophoraceae Seed Seed coat
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