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Title: Sectional rearrangement of arborescent clades of Croton (Euphorbiaceae) in South America : evolution of arillate seeds and a new species, Croton domatifer

Author: Riina, Ricarda; van Ee, Benjamin; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Cardozo, Alfonso; Berry, Paul E.

Date: 2010

Source: Taxon. Vol. 59, no. 4 (Aug. 2010): p. 1147-1160.

Publication Series: Not categorized

Description: Most of the arborescent Croton species in the New World were treated by Webster as belonging either to C. sect. Cyclostigma Griseb. or C. sect. Luntia (Neck. ex Raf.) G.L. Webster. The circumscription of C. sect. Cyclostigma has been treated recently. In this paper we focus on C. sect. Luntia, which was subdivided by Webster into two subsections, C. subsect. Matourenses and subsect. Cuneati. Using chloroplast trnL-F and nuclear ITS DNA sequence data, morphology and a broader sampling of additional Croton lineages, we found that the two subsections are not closely related and form distinct monophyletic groups. Substantial morphological differences support the molecular data. A taxonomic recircumscription of the two subsections, elevated to sectional level, is proposed. A key and taxonomic revision, with new synonyms, is provided for C. sect. Cuneati; together with the description of a new species from the coastal mountains of Venezuela, Croton domatifer. The new species is the only one in the genus known to possess leaf domatia. We infer that species in the Cuneati clade have lost the typical Croton caruncle, and some of them have evolved a different, specialized type of aril. We hypothesize that the arillate seeds are an adaptation to dispersal by fish in the Orinoco and Amazon river basins.

Keywords: Croton, molecular genetics, tree anatomy, tree morphology, Euphorbiaceae, tree identification, tree classification, tropical trees, phylogeny, wood anatomy, nucleotide sequence, Venezuela, seed dispersal, tropical woods, Croton domatifer, taxonomy, genetic analysis, arillate seeds, wood anatomy, molecular phylogeny, leaf domatia

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Riina, Ricarda; van Ee, Benjamin; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Cardozo, Alfonso; Berry, Paul E. 2010. Sectional rearrangement of arborescent clades of Croton (Euphorbiaceae) in South America : evolution of arillate seeds and a new species, Croton domatifer. Taxon. Vol. 59, no. 4 (Aug. 2010): p. 1147-1160.

 


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