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A new perspective on Punctelia subrudecta (Parmeliaceae) in North America: previously rejected morphological characters corroborate molecular phylogenetic evidence and provide insight into an old problem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2010

The New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, Bronx, NY 10458, USA Email:
Department of Biology, Box 90338, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


In North America the names Punctelia subrudecta and P. perreticulata have variously been applied to corticolous sorediate Punctelia specimens with lecanoric acid and a pale lower surface. ITS1, 5.8S, and ITS2 sequence data were generated from a geographically and morphologically broad sampling from within these specimens, and a molecular phylogeny was inferred. A combined approach using morphology, geography, and phylogeny was used to circumscribe three distinct species in North America, one of which is described as new to science (P. caseana), one of which is finally confirmed for the continent (P. jeckeri), and one whose original circumscription is validated (P. perreticulata). The phylogeny inferred from ITS sequence data supports the taxonomic value of the following morphological characters for distinguishing species in this group: presence/absence of pruina; conidium type and length (although see discussion of P. jeckeri), and presence/absence of scrobiculae on the upper surface. A key to the North American species of Punctelia is provided.

Research Article
Copyright © British Lichen Society 2010

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