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Contributions Toward a Monograph of Neotropical Jatropha: Phenetic and Phylogenetic Analyses

Bijan Dehgan and Bart Schutzman
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Vol. 81, No. 2 (1994), pp. 349-367
DOI: 10.2307/2992102
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2992102
Page Count: 19
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Contributions Toward a Monograph of Neotropical Jatropha: Phenetic and Phylogenetic Analyses
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Abstract

Phenetic analysis of the New World Jatropha L. species generally supports the 1979 classification of the genus by Dehgan and Webster. The distinctness of subgenera Curcas (Adans.) Pax and Jatropha, the intermediate position of section Polymorphae Pax between sections of both subgenera, and the close relationship of sections Mozinna (Ortega) Pax and Loureira (Cav.) Muell. ex Pax are indicated. Phylogenetic analysis provided evidence of monophyly for subgenus Jatropha, sections Jatropha and Mozinna, and probable paraphyly in subgenus Curcas and several sections and subsections. The cladistic analyses described herein produced multiple parsimonious topologies. The circumscriptions of the subgenera and some sections and subsections are significantly clarified. The status of heretofore dubiously placed or recently described species is also elucidated. Although geographical data were not included in the phylogenetic analyses, a distinct correlation between evolutionary trends in morphological features, postulated infrageneric delimitations, and geography of the genus became evident. Evidence is presented to support the antiquity of the genus and its present distribution, which resulted from a Gondwanaland breakup and subsequent overland dispersal across the African and American continents. Adaptive gradual mosaic evolution as a series of successive speciational steps, primarily involving morphological features, in concert with migration to areas of increasing aridity and cold appears to be the norm for the genus.

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