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Diversification and species limits within the Australian Utricularia (bladderworts, Lentibulariaceae)

Start date:
01 Jan 2012
End date:
31 Dec 2016
Paulo Baleeiro (University of Sao Paulo)
Project sponsors:

Project aims

  • Produce a broad phylogeny containing all recognised Australian Utricularia 
  • Produce a phylogeny of the largely Australian subgenus Polypompholyx to test the current classification.
  • Determine the number of taxa in the variable Utricularia dichotoma complex.
  • Use the phylogeny to infer biogeographic and evolutionary patterns, particularly bladder and floral morphology.
  • Revise the Flora of Australia account of Lentibulariaceae 

Project Summary

Utricularia (bladderworts, Lentibulariaceae) contains 218 recognised species worldwide, with c. 62 (47 endemic) of these found in Australia. This project examines species relationships primarily within the three sections of largely Australian subgenus Polypompholyx (c. 40 spp.). It is also examining the evolutionary and biogeographic patterns in context with the entire Utricularia lineage by including all Australian taxa, including that of the other two subgenera Utricularia and Bivalvaria. The project will address taxonomic issues at the intraspecifc level, and examine evolution of floral and vegetative morphology across Australian taxa. The study will produce a revision of Australian species for inclusion in the Flora of Australia, and assess the conservation status among the threatened species.

Research Update

  • Phylogeny of the largely Australian subgenus Polypompholyx is in preparation.
  • A study of 300 populations of members of the ‘U. dichotoma complex’ is currently in preparation.
  • Nine new species identified and published to date, eight new species are currently being described for publication.