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Article
Published: 2022-09-16

Combination of Chloranthus flavus into C. nervosus based on morphological and molecular evidence

Guangxi Key Laboratory of Plant Conservation and Restoration Ecology in Karst Terrain, Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yanshan, Guilin 541006, P. R. China.
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Plant Conservation and Restoration Ecology in Karst Terrain, Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yanshan, Guilin 541006, P. R. China.
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Plant Conservation and Restoration Ecology in Karst Terrain, Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yanshan, Guilin 541006, P. R. China.
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Plant Conservation and Restoration Ecology in Karst Terrain, Guangxi Institute of Botany, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yanshan, Guilin 541006, P. R. China.
Chloranthus phylogeny polymorphism species delimitation Eudicots

Abstract

Chloranthus flavus was described as a new species in the recent past only based on morphological comparison, which was assumed to be related and compared to C. nervosus. In the present study, based on extensive investigations and observations of the wild and transplanted plants in combination with molecular phylogenetic studies, we found: C. flavus has wider distribution range, but is still fully embedded within that of the widespread C. nervosus and they even coexist in some populations; they have same phenology and furthermore, there are not any disjunct morphological characters that can be observed to separate them, even for the assumed most striking diagnostic trait of stamen (connective) color, which varies more or less continuously; moreover, molecular phylogenetic analyses based on population samples and both plastid and nuclear sequences indicated that the individuals of typical C. flavus are fully nested within and interdispersed with C. nervosus. All these prove that C. flavus is a synonym of C. nervosus and should be combined.

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