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Hastings, Cara [1], Bornstein, Allan [2], Davidson, Chris [3], Smith, James [4].

Finding the limits of Piper amalago L., a widespread Neotropical shrub.

The delimitation of species boundaries is a question that has plagued biologists, taxonomists, and philosophers for centuries. Subtle and minor morphological differences in a widespread species complex makes delimiting the boundaries of species particularly challenging. Modern, high-throughput, targeted sequencing of hundreds of loci has allowed researchers to gain better insight regarding phylogenetic processes and improve understanding of previously ambiguous relationships. Piper amalago sensu lato occurs throughout the Neotropics and is morphologically similar to many other Piper species that have more restricted ranges or occur as narrow endemics. Taxonomists have debated whether the morphological differences between Piper amalago and these other similar species are significant and worth recognition; recent data indicate that they are nested within the Piper amalago lineage. Using herbarium specimens of nominative Piper amalago collected throughout its range, specimens of presumptive synonyms of Piper amalago (including types), and specimens of morphologically similar species, this study focuses on the phylogenetic relationships of Piper amalago sensu lato and seeks to determine if these taxa represent an exclusive monophyletic lineage following the genealogical species concept. Alternatively, Piper amalago sensu lato may be better split into a series of species, each monophyletic and exclusive. For this study, the Angiosperms353 bait set is being used to retrieve nuclear genes to build maximum likelihood and multispecies coalescent phylogenetic models. This analysis will lead to a better understanding of morphological variation within the Piper amalago lineage and where species boundaries should be drawn.

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1 - Boise State University, Biology, 1910 University Drive, Mail Stop: 1515, Boise, ID, 83725, United States
2 - Boise State University, Snake River Plains Herbaria, , Boise, Idaho, 83725, USA
3 - Boise State University, Dept of Biological Sciences, 1910 University Dr MS1515, Boise, ID, 83725, United States
4 - BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY, Department Of Biological Sciences, 1910 University Drive, Ms1515, Boise, ID, 83725, United States

Neotropical speciation
species complex
species delimitation

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PHYLOI, Phyogenomics I
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM(EDT)
Number: PHYLOI001
Abstract ID:250
Candidate for Awards:None

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