orthotree

Projects

Project OrthoTree

Insights into the diversification patterns of a major group of epiphytic mosses through the effective phylogenetic resolution: Orthotrichoideae (Orthotrichaceae, Bryophyta) 

OrthoTree is a project funded through the Spanish Government, grant CGL2016-80772-P

Project Abstract

The epiphytic environment is a difficult habitat for plant development, primarily due to its dryness, which is especially problematic in climatic areas with summer drought. Numerous members of the moss family Orthotrichaceae are specialized as pioneer epiphytes, and in temperate climates the Orthotrichoideae is the most diverse subfamily in this particular habitat. The understanding of the processes behind its diversification and current biogeography will provide a better comprehension of the reasons of its success. For this purpose, it is necessary to recover a detailed phylogeny, as complete as possible and with a reliable dating, in which the principal biogeographic events can be contrasted, and the ancestral states of the morphological features can be reconstructed.

The main objective of this project is to complete the study of the phylogeny and diversification frame of the subfamily Orthotrichoideae using an integrative methodology, in which morphological studies will be combined with the analysis of the genetic variation.

Main project achievements

We have obtained a fairly complete and resolved phylogeny of Orthotrichoideae, which has been published in a paper in the journal Frontiers in Plant Sciences [link to article].

According to the phylogenetic relationships recovered, we have proposed changes in the systematic delimitation of genera within Orthotrichoideae (Table 1), which include the segregation of two new genera (Atlantichella and Australoria), and merging Pleurorthotrichum with Pentastichella (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Pentastichella pentasticha, habit and detail of the peristome.

Table 1. Evolution of the classification of Orthotrichoideae during the last two decades.

Goffinet & Vitt, 1998 

Goffinet et al., 2004 

Plášek et al., 2015 

Current proposal 

Tribe Orthotricheae 

Orthotricheae 

 

Orthotricheae 

Orthotrichum Hedw. 

Orthotrichum Hedw. 

Orthotrichum Hedw. 

Orthotrichum Hedw. 

Muelleriella Dusén 

 

 

 

Orthomitrium Lewinsky & Crosby 

 

 

 

 

Nyholmiella Holmen & E.Warncke 

Nyholmiella Holmen & E.Warncke 

Nyholmiella Holmen & E.Warncke 

Stoneobryum D.H.Norris & H.Rob. 

Stoneobryum D.H.Norris & H.Rob. 

 

Stoneobryum D.H.Norris & H.Rob. 

 

Sehnemobryum Lewinsky & Hedenäs  

 

Sehnemobryum Lewinsky & Hedenäs 

 

 

Dorcadion Lindb. nom. illeg.  

Lewinskya F.Lara, Garilleti & Goffinet  

 

 

Pulvigera Plášek, Sawicki & Ochyra 

Pulvigera Plášek, Sawicki & Ochyra 

Ulota D.Mohr 

Ulota D.Mohr 

Ulota D.Mohr 

Ulota D.Mohr 

 

 

Plenogemma Plášek, Sawicki & Ochyra 

Plenogemma Plášek, Sawicki & Ochyra 

 

 

 

Atlantichella F.Lara, Garilleti & Draper 

Tribe Zygodonteae 

Zygodonteae 

 

Zygodonteae 

Zygodon Hook. & Taylor 

Zygodon Hook. & Taylor 

 

Zygodon Hook. & Taylor 

Stenomitrium (Mitt.) Broth. nom. illeg. 

Pentastichella Müll.Hal. 

 

Pentastichella Müll.Hal. 

Pleurorthotrichum Broth. 

Pleurorthotrichum Broth. 

 

 

 

 

 

Australoria F.Lara, Garilleti & Draper 

Bryomaltaea Goffinet 

 

 

 

Leptodontiopsis Broth. 

 

 

 

Codonoblepharon Schwägr. 

Codonoblepharon Schwägr. 

 

Codonoblepharon Schwägr. 

During the course of this project, we have contributed to the knowledge on the diversity within the orthotrichaceous genera. Among others, we have deepened into the species delimitation in Pulvigera, previously considered monospecific [link to publication], and Lewinskya [link to publication].

In addition, we have identified different patterns of colonization and evolution to explain the current distributional areas of the species of Orthotrichoideae. These include both long distance dispersal events, as in the case of Orthotrichum shevockii [Figure 2; link to publication], and sympatric and allopatric evolution, like in the species that conform the Lewinskya affinis complex [link to publication].

Figure 2. Geographic distribution of the studied specimens of O. shevockii. (a) California and Nevada, (b) the Canary Islands, (c) Tenerife. Numbers indicate specimens that were included in phylogenetic analyses. ** original locality of O. shevockii, *** originial locality of O. kellmanii (see publication for further details).