A study of the systematic relationships between members of the Trillium erectum complex

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christina Pampkin Stoehrel (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Katherine Mathews

Abstract: Systematic relationships among members of the Trillium erectum complex (T. cernuum L., T. flexipes Rafinesque, T. simile Gleason, T. rugelii Rendle, T. erectum L., T. sulcatum T. Patrick, and T. vaseyi Harbison) are not well described. For the purposes of conservation and cataloguing biodiversity it is important to know the phylogenetic relationships among taxa and quantify gene flow among these hybridizing taxa. A study of pollinator fidelity and geographic isolation was conducted used in combination with cladistic relationships inferred from chloroplast DNA sequencing and genetic distance inferred from allozyme electrophoresis data. The level of genetic divergence typically seen among species within the family Trilliaceae was considerably higher than that observed among members of the Erectum complex. Allozyme data suggest a high degree of gene flow among sympatric taxa, and local habitat selection pressures. However, these data also support the hypothesis of assortative mating between different floral colors as a factor maintaining species distinctiveness. The Erectum complex taxa appear to be sets of hybridizing groups in states of incomplete speciation.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Erectum complex, speciation, systematics, taxonomy, Trilliaceae, Trillium
Subjects
Trilliums -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Genetics
Trilliums -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Classification