Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 302, Issue 2, pp 187–201 | Cite as

Towards a monophyletic classification of Lejeuneaceae IV: reinstatement of Allorgella, transfer of Microlejeunea aphanella to Vitalianthus and refinements of the subtribal classification

  • Julia Bechteler
  • Gaik Ee Lee
  • Alfons Schäfer-Verwimp
  • Tamás Pócs
  • Denilson F. Peralta
  • Matthew A. M. Renner
  • Harald Schneider
  • Jochen Heinrichs
Original Article


The classification of Lejeuneeae, the most speciose tribe of the largely epiphytic leafy liverwort family Lejeuneaceae, is deemed notoriously difficult and hampered by extensive morphological homoplasy. We employed sequences of two chloroplast regions (trnL-trnF, rbcL) and the nuclear ribosomal ITS region of several critical taxa to explore their phylogenetic position. Based on our phylogenetic analyses and accompanying morphological investigations, we transfer Microlejeunea aphanella to Vitalianthus, reinstate the genus Allorgella, transfer Vitalianthus from Drepanolejeuneinae to Lepidolejeuneinae, identify Metalejeunea as another element of Lepidolejeuneinae, and place Allorgella and Haplolejeunea in Echinolejeuneinae. We map selected morphological characters on the reconstructed phylogenetic hypothesis to demonstrate the importance of subgynoecial innovations and ocelli for the circumscription of genera and subtribes of Lejeuneeae.


Haplolejeunea Lejeuneeae Liverwort Metalejeunea Molecular phylogeny Otolejeunea 



We are grateful to Andreas Beck (Bavarian State Collection of Botany) for herbarium specimens of Vitalianthus aphanellus and other liverworts used for comparison. This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (Grant 3584/6 to JH) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (research fellowship to GEL).

Supplementary material

606_2015_1252_MOESM1_ESM.nex (211 kb)
ESM1 (NEX 212 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Bechteler
    • 1
  • Gaik Ee Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alfons Schäfer-Verwimp
    • 3
  • Tamás Pócs
    • 4
  • Denilson F. Peralta
    • 5
  • Matthew A. M. Renner
    • 6
  • Harald Schneider
    • 7
  • Jochen Heinrichs
    • 1
  1. 1.Systematic Botany and Mycology, GeoBio-CenterLudwig Maximilian UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.School of Marine and Environmental SciencesUniversity Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia
  3. 3.Herdwangen-SchönachGermany
  4. 4.Botany Department, Institute of BiologyEszterházy CollegeEgerHungary
  5. 5.Instituto de BotânicaSão PauloBrazil
  6. 6.Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain TrustSydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Life ScienceNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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