This research was funded by a Discovery grant (DPO557260) from the Australian Research Council, an Australian Postgraduate Award to the lead author and research funding from the Australian Systematic Botany Society (Hansjörg Eichler Scientific Research Fund).
What does population structure analysis reveal about the Pterostylis longifolia complex (Orchidaceae)?
Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 11, pages 2631–2644, November 2012
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2012; 2(11): 2631–2644
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 21 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 13 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Received: 28 JUL 2012
- Australian Research Council
- Australian Systematic Botany Society
- AFLP ;
Morphologically similar groups of species are common and pose significant challenges for taxonomists. Differences in approaches to classifying unique species can result in some species being overlooked, whereas others are wrongly conserved. The genetic diversity and population structure of the Pterostylis longifolia complex (Orchidaceae) in Tasmania was investigated to determine if four species, and potential hybrids, could be distinguished through genomic AFLP and chloroplast restriction-fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) markers. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) results indicated that little genetic variation was present among taxa, whereas PCoA analyses revealed genetic variation at a regional scale irrespective of taxa. Population genetic structure analyses identified three clusters that correspond to regional genetic and single taxon-specific phenotypic variation. The results from this study suggest that “longifolia” species have persisted throughout the last glacial maximum in Tasmania and that the complex may be best treated as a single taxon with several morphotypes. These results could have serious evolutionary and conservation implications as taxonomic changes could result in the instatement of a single, widespread taxon in which rarer morphotypes are not protected.