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Morphological Variation within Five Angiosperm Families: Asclepiadaceae, Bromeliaceae, Melastomataceae, Piperaceae, and Rubiaceae

Amy Jean Gilmartin
Systematic Botany
Vol. 6, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1981), pp. 331-345
DOI: 10.2307/2418446
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2418446
Page Count: 15
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Morphological Variation within Five Angiosperm Families: Asclepiadaceae, Bromeliaceae, Melastomataceae, Piperaceae, and Rubiaceae
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Abstract

Populations of species of four families of Angiosperms were sampled in Colombia in order to quantify variation within and among populations of the same and different species within each family. Variation estimates are also compared to results with Asclepiadaceae sampled from western North America. As sampled, Melastomataceae differ significantly from Piperaceae at the family level and from Rubiaceae at the population level. Melastomataceae shows the greatest range of variation from population to family of any of the six families and Bromeliaceae has nearly as great a range. The extent of variation for Rubiaceae and Piperaceae is much less. Variation within populations of Asclepiadaceae from North America resembles that for Melastomataceae. Explanations for the lower variability and extent of variability of Rubiaceae and Piperaceae rest upon population biology theory.

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