Brittonia

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 232–261 | Cite as

Structural cladistic study of Cocoseae, subtribe Attaleinae (Arecaceae): Evaluating taxonomic limits in Attaleinae and the neotropical genus Syagrus

  • Larry R. Noblick
  • William J. Hahn
  • M. Patrick Griffith
Article

Abstract

Syagrus (Areaceae: Cocoseae) is a New World palm genus occurring through most of South America, with one species in the eastern Caribbean. Relationships within Syagrus, Cocoseae and Attaleinae (Arecaceae) are investigated via cladistic analysis of 130 structural characters in 69 ingroup and three outgroup species. The data resolve relationships and test generic limits of Attaleinae and among the Syagrus complex. Maximum parsimony analysis derived the following relationships: 1) two major clades (butioid and syagroid) are resolved; 2) Syagrus is polyphyletic as presently defined, with Allagoptera (incl. Polyandrococos), Cocos, Voanioala, and Attalea nested within it; 3) all genera studied except Syagrus and Butia are monophyletic; and 4) relationships in Syagrus broadly align with phytogeography and leaflet anatomy. The data suggest that Syagrus is polyphyletic, and presently accepted taxonomy may not predict monophyletic groups. The relationships predicted by the structural data differ from those resolved via molecular means in part, and also show some congruence.

Key Words

Leaflet anatomy morphology palms Arecaceae Attaleinae Syagrus 

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry R. Noblick
    • 1
  • William J. Hahn
    • 2
  • M. Patrick Griffith
    • 1
  1. 1.Montgomery Botanical CenterMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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