Insights on using morphologic data for phylogenetic analysis in sedges (Cyperaceae)

  • Naczi R
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Sedges are often viewed as difficult subjects for morphology-based phylogenetic analysis, due to several difficulties, including finding an adequate number of characters to yield well-resolved and well-supported trees, correctly assessing homology of characters and character states, and selecting appropriate outgroups for character state polarizations. The published literature holds only 11 papers with morphology-based phylogenetic analyses of sedges. This paper reviews those studies, and presents the phylogeny of two groups of sedges: (1) Carex section Deweyanae, and (2) Carex sections Careyanae, Granulares, and Griseae. This paper also presents recommendations for using morphologic data to reconstruct sedge phylogenies, based on comparisons of the trees resulting from the present study with the previous sedge studies and with similar studies of phylogeny of other groups of flowering plants. In the two groups of Carex examined, morphology does provide sufficient characters to infer well-resolved trees, with some nodes having good to strong support at levels consistent with those found in morphology-based analyses of other groups of flowering plants. The inclusion of micromorphologic and anatomic characters substantially enhances the resolving power of macromorphologic characters in sedge analyses, and increases the support for some clades.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cyperaceae
  • Morphology
  • Phylogenetic Analysis

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  • Robert F.C. Naczi

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