Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail


Barrington, David [1].

How Johann Wilhelm Karl Moritz (1797-1866) hindered recent progress with resolving reticulate evolutionary relationships in the tropical Andes.

Morphological, cytological, and genetic analyses of an array of collections of the fern genus Polystichum (Dryopteridacaceae from the tropical Andes and Central America have documented the existence of an undescribed allotetraploid, found in the open páramos from the northern limits of Central America at the Guatemala-Mexico border to the northern limits of the central Andes in Peru. The tetraploid is derived from two diploid progenitors both now found only in the Andean páramos. The first, P. sodiroi, is a 3-pinnate species restricted to the southern part of the northern Andes. The second is P. polyphyllum, a diminutive species widespread in the northern and central Andes. The páramo tetraploid seems likely to have originated in the northern Andes where it is common and P. sodiroi is endemic; dated phylogenies suggest an origin within the last 4 million years.
The search for a name for this allotetraploid is complicated substantially by three collections made in sequence on one day in 1844 on one mountainside (the Páramo de la Culata) in Venezuela by Johann Wilhelm Karl Moritz (1797–1866). The history of the three original collections, along with plants collected by Moritz at later dates in different places using the same collection numbers, provides one of the most striking examples of the challenges to using the type concept for the naming of living things. The three collections include a hybrid and two species, one of which is the páramo tetraploid. All three of these collections were cited as types for new species in Klotzsch's 1847 publication on neotropical ferns, but the ambiguities in Klotzsch's descriptions render them useless for applying to the páramo allotetraploid. An entirely new epithet is necessary.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - University Of Vermont, Plant Biology, 111 Jeffords Hall, 63 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT, 05405, United States


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: SYSTIII, Systematics III: Algae to Lilioid Monocots
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 3:45 PM(EDT)
Number: SYSTIII004
Abstract ID:690
Candidate for Awards:None


Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved