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Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Distefano, Isabel [1], Clement, Wendy L [2], Esslinger, Theodore [3], Leavitt, Steven [4], Lumbsch, Thorsten [5].

Phylogeny informs evolutionary classification of Physcia (Physciaceae), a diverse genus of foliose lichens.

Molecular data have dramatically increased our understanding of evolutionary relationships and species delimitation of groups of organisms distinguished by few defining morphological features, including lichen-forming fungi. Physcia (Physciacese) is a foliose genus of rosette lichenized fungi with a cosmopolitan distribution. Historically, Physcia species have been difficult to circumscribe due to both morphological similarities and plasticity of traits. For example, since many species are largely indistinguishable in growth morphology and chemical components, reproductive strategies are instead commonly used to distinguish numerous species. Recent studies have utilized genetic data to better understand species boundaries in Physcia and uncovered previously overlooked species-level diversity in the genus. Consequently, number of described species within Physcia has increased from 50 to over 70 in the past decade alone. However, the North American Physcia species remain poorly studied, with many open questions regarding species diversity and relationships. Here, we present an expanded phylogeny that now includes an additional 150 accessions of 25 species of North American Physcia. Eurasian Physcia accessions from Genbank were also included to investigate the potential of phylogeographic patterns within the genus. Using this, the most comprehensive Physcia dataset to date, we infer evolutionary relationships among described taxa and study the evolution of the morphological characters often used to delineate Physia species. We recovered seven major clades. Few species were recovered as monophyletic, and our results indicate that robust species delimitation studies and taxonomic revisions will be required to adequately characterize diversity in this group. Furthermore, our results cast doubt on the utility of using reproductive patterns and morphology to distinguish species. Our phylogeny provides an important foundation to assess species boundaries, phylogeographic patterns, character evolution, and taxonomy of North American Physcia species.

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1 - The College of New Jersey, Department of Biology, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ, 08628, United States
2 - The College Of New Jersey, Biology, 2000 Pennington Road, Department Of Biology, Ewing, NJ, 08638, USA
3 - North Dakota State University, Biology, 201 Stevens Hall, Fargo, ND, 58102, USA
4 - Brigham Young University, Department of Biology & M. L. Bean Life Science Museum, 4143 Life Science Building, Provo, UT, 84602, USA
5 - The Field Museum, Science & Education, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, 60605, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 28, Bryology and Lichenology (ABLS) II
Location: Sundance 1/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: 28011
Abstract ID:395
Candidate for Awards:None

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