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Species delimitation and recognition in the Pediomelummegalanthum complex (Fabaceae) via multivariate morphometrics




  • Pediomelum is a genus endemic to North America comprising about 26 species, including the megalanthum complex, which consists of Pediomelummegalanthum and its varieties retrorsum and megalanthum, Pediomelummephiticum, and the recently described Pediomelumverdiense and Pediomelumpauperitense. Historically, species of the megalanthum complex have been variably recognized at the species or variety levels, dependent upon the relative importance of morphological characters as diagnostic of species. Ten quantitative morphological characters regarded as diagnostic at the species level were analyzed using multivariate morphometrics across these taxa in order to examine the discriminatory power of these characters to delineate species and to aid in species delimitation. The analyses support the recognition of Pediomelummegalanthum, Pediomelummephiticum, and Pediomelumverdiense at the species level, Pediomelumretrorsum as a variety under Pediomelummegalanthum, and suggest the sinking of Pediomelumpauperitense into Pediomelumverdiense. The findings of the present study help quantify the power of certain characters at delimiting taxa and provide a basis for taxonomic revision of the Pediomelummegalanthum complex.

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Publication Date

  • 2015


Digital Object Identifier (doi)

Additional Document Info

Start Page

  • 65

End Page

  • 87


  • 44