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Comparative pollen morphology of the Iberian species of Pulicaria (Asteraceae, Inuleae, Inulinae) and its taxonomic significance
António Pereira Coutinho, Carlos F. Aguiar, Diana Sá da Bandeira and Augusto M. Dinis
Plant Systematics and Evolution
Vol. 297, No. 3/4 (December 2011), pp. 171-183
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43558613
Page Count: 13
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To better understand the taxonomy of Pulicaria, the pollen wall architecture of the six Iberian species were investigated using light (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The exine structure of Pulicaria odora was also investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Statistical analysis was performed to distinguish taxonomically significant morphometric information from all the measured parameters of pollen grains. It was found that the exine sculpture characters, with special importance paid to the spines, were the most useful of all characters to define Pulicaria pollen types and separate the species. Three pollen types distinguishable through the spines morphology and the inter-spinular sculpture are described: P. microcephala pollen type (incl. P. microcephala), P. vulgaris pollen type (incl. P. vulgaris), and P. dysenterica pollen type (incl. P. dysenterica, P. odora, P. paludosa and P. siculo). A dichotomous key to these Pulicaria pollen types is proposed. The distribution of P. dysenterica, P. odora, P. paludosa and P. sicula in more than one leaf node in the classification tree reveals that the pollen grains of these species are difficult to segregate. Therefore, the construction of a satisfactory dichotomous key to the P. dysenterica pollen type species is not feasible. Yet, the different spines apex morphology between P. microcephala and P. paludosa and the existence of significant differences in five of the eight studied quantitative pollen characters of these two taxa, supports the opinion that the Berlengas Islands endemic P. microcephala should be accepted as a separate species. In addition, the differences among the spines morphology of P. vulgaris, P. microcephala, and the other four Iberian (and European) species, strengthen the conclusion that the section Pulicaria is non-monophyletic.
Plant Systematics and Evolution © 2011 Springer