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The chance discovery of an unusual Ficus specimen near Katherine in the Northern Territory prompted an investigation into hybridisation between two morphologically distinct endemic Australian sandpaper figs, Ficus aculeata A.Cunn. ex Miq. and F. coronulata Miq. In this study, genome-wide scans and morphological measurements were used to investigate the perceived hybridisation by using herbarium and freshly collected samples. Most of the putative hybrids displayed a wide variety of intermediate morphology and some individuals had characteristics consistent with the description of a third species, F. carpentariensis D.J.Dixon. Both genomic and morphometric results provided evidence of naturally occurring hybridisation events within Ficus. Additionally, the findings from this study showed possible taxonomic issues within the Northern Australian sandpaper figs that warrant further investigation.
Five indigenous species of Pellaea in Australasia belong to section Platyloma. Their taxonomic history is outlined, morphological, cytological and genetic evidence for their recognition reviewed, and new morphological and chloroplast DNA-sequence data provided. Australian plants of P. falcata (R.Br.) Fée are diploid and have longer, narrower pinnae than do New Zealand plants previously referred to P. falcata, which are tetraploid. Evidence indicates that P. falcata does not occur in New Zealand, and that collections so-named are P. rotundifolia (G.Forst.) Hook. Chloroplast DNA sequences are uninformative in distinguishing Australian P. falcata from New Zealand P. rotundifolia, but show that Australian P. nana is distinct from both. Sequence data also show that Australian and New Zealand populations of P. calidirupium Brownsey & Lovis are closely related, and that Australian P. paradoxa (R.Br.) Hook. is distinct from other Australian species. Although P. falcata is diploid and P. rotundifolia tetraploid, P. calidirupium, P. nana (Hook.) Bostock and P. paradoxa each contain multiple ploidy levels. Diploid populations of Pellaea species are confined to Australia, and only tetraploids are known in New Zealand. Evolution of the group probably involved hybridisation, autoploidy, alloploidy, and possibly apomixis. Further investigation is required to resolve the status of populations from Mount Maroon, Queensland and the Kermadec Islands.
We present a phylogeny based on four DNA molecular markers (rps16–trnK spacer, rps16 intron, rpl32–trnL spacer and ITS) concentrating on species of Eragrostis Wolf in Australia. Two Australian radiations are shown within Eragrostis, one being centred in the arid zone and one in the monsoon tropics. The genus is paraphyletic, with species of Cladoraphis Franch., Ectrosia R.Br., Harpachne Hochst. ex A.Rich., Heterachne Benth., Neeragrostis Bush, Planichloa B.K.Simon, Psammagrostis C.A.Gardner & C.E.Hubb. and Stiburus Stapf together forming a well supported clade mixed with Eragrostis species. The molecular results are consistent with recognition of an expanded Eragrostis and we make the following new combinations for Australian taxa: Eragrostis agrostoides (Benth.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. anomala (C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. appressa (S.T.Blake) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. baileyi (C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. blakei (C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. confusa (C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. danesii (Domin) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. gulliveri (F.Muell.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. leporina (R.Br.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. nervilemma (B.K.Simon) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. ovata (Night.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. scabrida (C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. wiseana (C.A.Gardner & C.E.Hubb.) R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson and Sporobolus ramigerus (F.Muell.) P.M.Peterson, Romasch. & R.L.Barrett, and propose the following new names: E. divergens R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson, E. lilliputiana R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson and E. nightingaleae R.L.Barrett & P.M.Peterson. Lectotypes are designated for Ectrosia agrostoides Benth., E. anomala C.E.Hubb., E. appressa S.T.Blake, E. baileyi C.E.Hubb., E. blakei C.E.Hubb., E. confusa C.E.Hubb., E. gulliveri F.Muell., E laxa S.T.Blake, E. leporina R.Br, E. leporina var. longiglumis C.E.Hubb., E. schultzii Benth., E. schultzii var. annua C.E.Hubb., E. spadicea R.Br., Glyceria australasica Steud., Heterachne gulliveri Benth., Heterachne gulliveri var. major C.E.Hubb. Poa ramigera F.Muell. and Psammagrostis wiseana C.A.Gardner & C.E.Hubb.
Sorapilla Spruce & Mitt. is a taxonomically problematic genus of mosses. In this paper one of the two known species, Sorapilla papuana Broth. & Geh., is described and illustrated in detail for the first time, and its morphological peculiarities are discussed. It is monoicous, rather than dioicous as had been assumed. The presence of an annulus on the capsule and sparse hairs on the calyptra, both suggested previously, are confirmed. Paraphyllia, which had been reported for Sorapilla, are not present. The phylogenetic position of Sorapilla remains uncertain.
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