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A new species of Pilea Lindley. from Palakkad gap region of Western
Ghats of Kerala is described and illustrated as Pilea victoriae sp. nov.
IUCN status, distribution, phenology, phenetic relationships, plastid
genome variation and its affinities are discussed
A key to the Mesoamerican taxa of Pilea is presented together with a nomenclatural revision of 85 names, of which 18 are typified here: P. brittoniae Urb., P. centradenoides Seem., P. comuto-cucullata Cufod., P. forgeti N.E. Br., P. hyalina Fenzl, P. imparifolia Wedd., P. involucrata (Sims) Urb., P. latifolia Wedd., P. lundii Liebm., P. microphylla var. peregrina (Griseb.) Urb., P. nummularifolia (Sw.) Wedd., P. ovalis Griseb., P. ptericlada Donn. Sm., P. pubescens Liebm., P. rubiifolia Blume, P. rupicola Wedd., P. trianaeana Wedd., and P. vulcanica Liebm. A list of material examined with determinations is appended
Seven new species of Pilea from Mesoamerica are described and illustrated: Pilea pteridophylla A. K. Monro, P. plumalosa A. K. Monro, P. tripartita A. K. Monro, P. rostulata A. K. Monro, P. quadrata A. K. Monro, P. tutensis A. K. Monro, and P. magnicarpa A. K. Monro. Their affinities are discussed and positions within Weddell's and Killip's subdivisions of the genus indicated.
Three hitherto undescribed species of Pilea (Urticaceae) from limestone karst in China are described and illustrated. Affinities of the species are discussed and Global Species Conservation Assessments presented. The new species are Pilea cavernicola A.K. Monro, C.J. Chen & Y.G. Wei, sp. nov. (Vulnerable) which most closely resembles P. scripta (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) Wedd. and P. gracilis Handel-Mazzetti, Pilea shizongensis A.K. Monro, C.J. Chen & Y.G. Wei, sp. nov. (Endangered) which is most similar to Pilea aquarum Dunn and Pilea guizhouensis A.K. Monro, C.J. Chen & Y.G. Wei, sp. nov. (Vulnerable) which resembles Pilea boniana Gagnep. and P. rubriflora C. Wright most closely.
The revision of species-rich genera underpins research and supports the sustainable use and monitoring of biological diversity. One fifth to one quarter of the diversity of all seed plant species occurs in such genera, but difficulties with the revision of species-rich genera has resulted in many of them being ignored since the late 1800s. Pilea, with 600-715 species is in need of revision. The only realistic approach is in manageable subunits, which requires confirmation of monophyly and identification of monophyletic subdivisions. Parsimony analyses of trnL-F, ITS, and morphology data were used to test the monophyly of, and explore intrageneric relationships within, Pilea. Analysis of trnL-F data confirms and recovers two morphologically diagnosable monophyletic clades that include all of the taxa within Pilea. Overlaying geographic distribution on a most parsimonious tree indicates a strong association between geography and phylogenetic relatedness. It is suggested that a strategic revision within the framework of morphologically and geographically diagnosable units might enable the revision of the group using an iterative approach. Analysis of the outgroup taxa supports the inclusion of Poikilospermum within the Urticaceae and suggests that the Urticaceae tribes could be placed into two clades that are supported by floral morphology.
Material of Pilea from Mt Jaya has been studied for the Flora of Mt Jaya and as part of ongoing investigations into the classification of the genus. Characters important for species delimitation are discussed and a brief discussion of the species number worldwide included. Three new species, Pilea craspedodroma, P. johnsii and P. jayaensis are described and illustrated. Molecular sequence data for these new species has been deposited on Genbank and accession numbers given. Three new names, to replace P. thymifolia RidL, P. alpestris Ridl. and P. trinervia Ridl. are proposed.
The increase in the number of large data sets and the complexity of current probabilistic sequence evolution models necessitates fast and reliable phylogeny reconstruction methods. We describe a new approach, based on the maximum- likelihood principle, which clearly satisfies these requirements. The core of this method is a simple hill-climbing algorithm that adjusts tree topology and branch lengths simultaneously. This algorithm starts from an initial tree built by a fast distance-based method and modifies this tree to improve its likelihood at each iteration. Due to this simultaneous adjustment of the topology and branch lengths, only a few iterations are sufficient to reach an optimum. We used extensive and realistic computer simulations to show that the topological accuracy of this new method is at least as high as that of the existing maximum-likelihood programs and much higher than the performance of distance-based and parsimony approaches. The reduction of computing time is dramatic in comparison with other maximum-likelihood packages, while the likelihood maximization ability tends to be higher. For example, only 12 min were required on a standard personal computer to analyze a data set consisting of 500 rbcL sequences with 1,428 base pairs from plant plastids, thus reaching a speed of the same order as some popular distance-based and parsimony algorithms. This new method is implemented in the PHYML program, which is freely available on our web page: http://www.lirmm.fr/w3ifa/MAAS/.
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