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Systematics Section / ASPT

Bacon, Christine D. [1], Bailey, C. Donovan [1].

AFLP data and morphological markers support the recognition of Chamaedorea alternans.

Palmae (Arecaceae) is a diverse family that represents a symbol of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems. Chamaedorea is the largest and most economically important palm genus in the Americas, with its center of diversity in mountainous areas of Central America. Species boundaries in Chamaedorea are often complicated by a paucity of useful herbarium accessions, sympatry, dioecy, and great morphological variation. Chameadorea alternans Wendl. is putatively restricted to coastal forests of Veracruz, Mexico. This species occurs both sympatrically and allopatrically with the widespread C. tepejilote Liebm. and current debate recognizes the need to consider the status of C. alternans relative to C. tepejilote. The distinction of C. alternans is supported by morphological observations of life form (clonal versus solitary), inflorescences per node, pinnae width, leaf sheath coloration and venation, fruit size, and fruit maturation times. Furthermore, numerous fixed differences were identified between allopatric and sympatric populations of both species, with no evidence of hybrid individuals. The combination of these results strongly supports the recognition of C. alternans with respect to C. tepejilote. Additional field work is needed to establish an accurate geographic range for C. alternans.

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1 - New Mexico State University, Department of Biology, Po Box 30001, Department 3Af, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88003-8001, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 3-7
Location: Salon J - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 10:15 AM
Abstract ID:138

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