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Morphometric analysis of the Brasiliorchis picta complex (Orchidaceae)

DOI: 10.1590/S0100-84042009000100003

Keywords: morphometry, multivariate analysis, species complex, taxonomy.

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Abstract:

one of the largest genera of orchidaceae in the neotropics with about 450 species, maxillaria presents several taxonomic uncertainties about its generic circumscription and the delimitation of species groups, mainly due to the large variability of some species. the present study aims at verifying the morphological variation and species delimitation in the brasiliorchis picta complex, a recent new genus derived from maxillaria, using morphometric multivariate analysis. a total of 340 specimens belonging to six species (b. chrysantha (barb. rodr.) r.b. singer, s. koehler & carnevali, b. gracilis (lodd.) r.b. singer, s. koehler & carnevali, b. marginata (lindl.) r.b. singer, s. koehler & carnevali, b. picta (hook.) r. singer, s. koehler & carnevali, b. porphyrostele (rchb. f.) r.b. singer, s. koehler & carnevali and b. ubatubana (hoehne) r.b. singer, s. koehler & carnevali) were analyzed using multivariate methods (pca, cva, da, and cluster analysis with upgma). b. gracilis shows the largest morphological discontinuity, mainly due to its smaller size. the other species tend to form distinct groups, but intermediate characteristics between pairs of species induce overlaps among the individuals of different species and thus confuse the distinction of each one. hybridization and geographic distribution can be involved in the differentiation of the species and lineages in this complex. because the species classified a priori in this work cannot be recognized by the quantitative characters measured here, such other tools as geometric morphometry and molecular data should be employed in future works to clarify species relationships in this complex.

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