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1 January 2002 Biogeography of the Oxalis tuberosa Alliance
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Abstract
The Oxalis tuberosa alliance is a group of morphologically similar Oxalis species allied to the Andean tuber crop oca, O. tuberosa. Originally described by cytologists as a dozen species sharing a base chromosome number rare in Oxalis (x = 8), the alliance as defined here includes additional species for which cytological information is not yet available but which are supported as members on molecular and/or morphological grounds. The alliance includes members found in the Andean region from Venezuela to northern Argentina, with one species at high elevations in Central America. They occur from the high Andean steppes (páramo and puna) to the cloud forests of middle elevations and include both restricted endemics and variable widespread species complexes.Geographical and altitudinal distributions of members of the alliance and selected Oxalis species outside the alliance were compared with a combined phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data of ITS and ncpGS (chloroplast-expressed glutamine synthetase). Groups within the alliance (i.e., major clades on the molecular trees) occur across widespread, overlapping regions in the Andes, with only partial ecological separation. The hypothesis that the O. tuberosa alliance may have developed in the Andes of southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia and radiated southward and, especially, northward along the Andean axis is suggested by patterns of distributions of members of the alliance and outgroups. In spite of uncertain species delimitations, it is clear that the alliance includes many endemic species and ecotypes that have very restricted distributions. As relatives of the Andean tuber crop Oxalis tuberosa, the genetic diversity represented by this geographical variability should be a high priority for conservation.
and Eve Emshwiller "Biogeography of the Oxalis tuberosa Alliance," The Botanical Review 68(1), (1 January 2002). https://doi.org/10.1663/0006-8101(2002)068[0128:BOTOTA]2.0.CO;2
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