Contributions toward understanding the biodiversity of Passiflora in North America: Updates and a new combination from the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico and vicinity

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Authors Harlan T. Svoboda, AJ Harris
Journal/Conference Name Journal of Systematics and Evolution
Paper Category , ,
Paper Abstract The Baja California Peninsula and surrounding landmasses harbor an abundant flora in an otherwise harsh and arid environment. Of the many plant groups native to this peninsular and insular region, passionflowers (Passiflora, Passifloraceae) are represented by several conspicuous taxa that all belong to a single lineage, section Dysosmia. Basic questions remain regarding this group, particularly the taxonomic status among the Passiflora arida complex. Therefore, we investigated the claims of endemism, habitat characteristics, and taxon boundaries with in section Dysosmia in the Baja California region using extensive sampling of herbarium specimens and iNaturalist observations. We confirmed that only one of the native Passiflora taxa (P. fruticosa) was endemic to the Baja California Peninsula, with an additional taxon (P. palmeri) considered near-endemic. Environmental data revealed significant distinctions between the habitats of many of the native taxa as well as within the P. arida complex, especially with respect to precipitation and temperature tolerances. Geometric morphometric analyses of leaf shape were largely not successful at separating taxa, indicating leaf shape may not be a good indicator of taxon identity in this particular group. Based on ecological differences and discrete macro- and micromorphological features, a varietal name is here synonymized and a new combination is proposed Passiflora pentaschista.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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