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Reinstatement of the Genus Piofontia: A Phylogenomic-Based Study Reveals the Biphyletic Nature of Diplostephium (Asteraceae: Astereae)

Vargas, Oscar M.
Systematic botany 2018 v.43 no.2 pp. 485-496
Asteraceae, South Americans, evolution, forests, new combination, plant taxonomy, shrubs, trees, Andes region, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela
A recent phylogenomic study has shown that Diplostephium in its broad sense is biphyletic. While one of the clades comprises 60 species distributed mainly in the Northern Andes, the clade that contains the generic type, Diplostephium ericoides, contains 48 species, and primarily inhabits the Central Andes. Here, I propose to reinstate the generic name Piofontia and transfer to it the species of Diplostephium in the Northern Andean clade. Piofontia consists, then, of 60 species of woody subshrubs, shrubs, and small trees inhabiting high Andean forests and páramos of Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. A morphological description is provided for the genus Piofontia along with a species list with 60 new combinations. Dysaster cajamarcensis is shown to be a synonym of Diplostephium serratifolium. Finally, a brief discussion about themorphological evolution of South American Astereae is provided.