Muehlenbeckia (family Polygonaceae) – a Gondwanan group

Start date:
01 Jan 2009
End date:
31 Dec 2017
Researchers:
KA Kron RO Makinson TJ Schuste Karen Wilson
Project sponsors:
Pauline Ladiges Research Fellow for Plant Systematics, University of Melbourne and Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Project partners:
Pauline Ladiges Research Fellow for Plant Systematics, University of Melbourne and Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Project aims

  • Investigate the phylogeny and biogeography of Muehlenbeckia
  • Clarify species limits and relationships within the genu

 

Project Summary

Polygonaceae is a cosmopolitan family, with 49 genera and 1,200 species, found from the Arctic to the lowland tropics and from aquatic to xeric conditions. Most species occur in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Muehlenbeckia is unusual in being a Gondwanan group, found in Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand and mountains of Latin America. Molecular and morphological data are being used to assess the relationships and phylogeny of this genus and its species. Results to date have shown that Lignum, M. florulenta, and two allied inland species belong to a separate genus, Duma.

Research Update