Browsing by Subject "species delineation"

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  • Nygaard, Malene; Kemppainen, Petri; Speed, James D. M.; Elven, Reidar; Flatberg, Kjell Ivar; Galten, Leif P.; Yousefi, Narjes; Solstad, Heidi; Bendiksby, Mika (2021)
    Carex section Ceratocystis (Cyperaceae) is a group of recently evolved plant species, in which hybridization is frequent, introgression is documented, taxonomy is complex, and morphological boundaries are vague. Within this section, a unified taxonomic treatment of the Carex jemtlandica-Carex lepidocarpa species complex does not exist, and Norway may currently be the sole country accepting species rank for both. Carex jemtlandica is mainly confined to Fennoscandia and is thus a Fennoscandian conservation responsibility. This motivated us to test the principal hypothesis that both C. jemtlandica and C. lepidocarpa represent evolutionary significant units, and that both deserve their current recognition at species level. We investigated their evolutionary distinctiveness in Norway, using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing and ecological niche modeling. Our genomic results reveal two genetic clusters, largely corresponding to C. jemtlandica and C. lepidocarpa that also remain distinct in sympatry, despite clear indications of ongoing hybridization and introgression. The ecological niche modeling suggests that they occupy different environmental niches. Jointly, our results clearly show that C. jemtlandica and C. lepidocarpa represent separately evolving entities that should qualify recognition as evolutionary significant units. Given the high level of introgression compared to other hybridizing species pairs in Carex we recommend treating C. jemtlandica as a subspecies of C. lepidocarpa.
  • Mutanen, Marko; Kekkonen, Mari; Prosser, Sean W. J.; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Kaila, Lauri (2015)
    Each holotype specimen provides the only objective link to a particular Linnean binomen. Sequence information from them is increasingly valuable due to the growing usage of DNA barcodes in taxonomy. As type specimens are often old, it may only be possible to recover fragmentary sequence information from them. We tested the efficacy of short sequences from type specimens in the resolution of a challenging taxonomic puzzle: the Elachista dispunctella complex which includes 64 described species with minuscule morphological differences. We applied a multistep procedure to resolve the taxonomy of this species complex. First, we sequenced a large number of newly collected specimens and as many holotypes as possible. Second, we used all >400 bp examine species boundaries. We employed three unsupervised methods (BIN, ABGD, GMYC) with specified criteria on how to handle discordant results and examined diagnostic bases from each delineated putative species (operational taxonomic units, OTUs). Third, we evaluated the morphological characters of each OTU. Finally, we associated short barcodes from types with the delineated OTUs. In this step, we employed various supervised methods, including distance-based, tree-based and character-based. We recovered 658 bp barcode sequences from 194 of 215 fresh specimens and recovered an average of 141bp from 33 of 42 holotypes. We observed strong congruence among all methods and good correspondence with morphology. We demonstrate potential pitfalls with tree-, distance- and character-based approaches when associating sequences of varied length. Our results suggest that sequences as short as 56bp can often provide valuable taxonomic information. The results support significant taxonomic oversplitting of species in the Elachista dispunctella complex.