Scientific article
Open access

A 638‐gene phylogeny supports the recognition of twice as many species in the Malagasy endemic genus Capurodendron (Sapotaceae)

Published inTaxon, vol. 71, no. 2, p. 360-395
Publication date2022-02-11
First online date2022-02-11

The Malagasy genus Capurodendron currently accommodates 26 described species and is the largest genus of the family Sapotaceae in Madagascar. These species are frequently logged because of their valued hardwood, which potentially puts them at risk of extinction. Species‐level identifications are often problematic, and this hinders both an accurate assessment of their conservation status and the development of effective protection measures. We sorted all the material (ca. 860 collections) available in the herbaria with significant collections for Madagascar into 47 putative species based on morphology. On 41 of these, for which we were able to retrieve suitable DNA, we conducted a phylogenetic reconstruction based on molecular sequences of 638 loci from 108 Capurodendron specimens, performing a target capture approach combined with next‐generation sequencing. Maximum likelihood (RAxML), pseudocoalescence (ASTRAL), and coalescence (STACEY) analyses showed that Capurodendron comprises two deeply divergent lineages. One, which includes a single species, is here newly described as C . subg. Reflexisepala based on its distinctive morphology. The second lineage contains all remaining species, which seem to have resulted from a rapid radiation event. The phylogenetic tree provides good support for most of the species hypothesized based on morphology, with the exception of two species‐groups that we have named the Arid Complex and the Eastern Complex. As many as 20 species‐level lineages genetically distinct from any of the currently recognized species were identified, 17 of which were morphologically well‐characterized, representing strong candidates for new species. This would suggest that Capurodendron is the most species‐rich endemic genus of plants in Madagascar. While 14 of these 20 clades are still under study, we here describe six species new to science: Capurodendron andrafiamenae (provisionally assessed as CR), C. aubrevillei (VU), C. birkinshawii (CR), C. naciriae (EN), C. randrianaivoi (CR), and C. sakarivorum (EN). Capurodendron oblongifolium comb. nov. (EN), previously regarded as a variety of C. perrieri , represents a distinct lineage that is here recognized at the species level. The newly described species are illustrated by line drawings and photographs from the field, and a preliminary threat assessment is provided. We discuss the evolutionary history of Capurodendron and also explore the question of node age estimates and their methodological limitations.

  • Capurodendron
  • Madagascar
  • NGS
  • New species
  • Node age estimation
  • Phylogenomics
  • Sapotaceae
  • Target capture
Citation (ISO format)
BOLUDA, Carlos G. et al. A 638‐gene phylogeny supports the recognition of twice as many species in the Malagasy endemic genus <i>Capurodendron </i>(Sapotaceae). In: Taxon, 2022, vol. 71, n° 2, p. 360–395. doi: 10.1002/tax.12676
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0040-0262

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