Morphometric study confirms the presence of only Vatica mangachapoi on Hainan Island, China
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To date only one species of the genus Vatica Linn. (Dipterocarpaceae) has been identified, and a subspecies and three varieties have been reported on Hainan Island, China. However, it remained controversial whether the species was Vatica mangachapoi or a new species Vatica hainanensis, and whether the subspecies or varieties are taxonomically valid. We evaluated here morphometric variations of 133 trees collected from nine populations and herbarium specimens of Vatica spp. using 16 traits of leaf and fruit. Among these, leaf traits varied more within and among populations than did fruit traits. Four traits of ratios were more stable than directly-measured traits within and among populations. The ranges of lamina length, lamina width and height of maximum lamina width point were the greatest among the 16 traits, while number of lateral veins varied least among the 12 directly-measured traits. Measurements from all 9 populations overlapped for each morphological trait, and variation of each trait was continuous among both individuals and populations. The range of variation did not distinguish any specimen from V. mangachapoi as described in the flora of Southeast Asia. By cluster analysis, individuals of each population as well as specimens of each variety formed no distinct clusters. The published varieties thus were characterized by no distinguishing variations in comparison with the nine sampled populations. In conclusion, the new species V. hainanensis as well as the subspecies and varieties were not supported by our comparisons, and only V. mangachapoi without any subspecies or varieties occurs on Hainan Island, China.
KeywordsVatica Linn. Vatica mangachapoi Morphological variability Cluster analysis Hainan Island
We should like to thank the herbaria CANT, SYS and CFA for permission to study their specimens. We are also grateful to thank Dr. Hugh A. McAllister (Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool), Professor Shi-Liang Zhou and Dr. Qiang Wang (Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) for their constructive suggestions and English correction.
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