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A Unified Approach to Taxonomic Delimitation in the Fern Genus Pentagramma (Pteridaceae)

Schuettpelz, Eric, Pryer, Kathleen M., Windham, Michael D.
Systematic botany 2015 v.40 no.3 pp. 629-644
Pentagramma, chemotypes, cytotypes, diploidy, ferns and fern allies, flavonoids, new combination, new species, phylogeny, plant taxonomy, spores, North America
The native goldback and silverback ferns of western North America, composing the genus Pentagramma, are phylogenetically isolated within the xeric-adapted cheilanthoid clade. Although species-poor compared to its sister group, Pentagramma encompasses a diverse array of morphotypes, cytotypes, and flavonoid chemotypes. Because the differences are generally cryptic, however, the various entities are usually recognized at an infraspecific level. In recent years, as many as five subspecies have been ascribed to P. triangularis, and only P. pallida has been considered sufficiently divergent to warrant recognition as a distinct species. In this study, we take a unified approach to taxonomic delimitation in Pentagramma. Combining spore studies with phylogenetic analyses of plastid and nuclear sequences, we identify six genetically and morphologically distinct diploid lineages, each of which is here treated as a species. A new species is described (P. glanduloviscida) and three new combinations are made (P. maxonii, P. rebmanii, and P. viscosa).