J Syst Evol

• Research Articles •    

A framework infrageneric classification of Carex (Cyperaceae) and its organizing principles

Eric H. Roalson1,*, Pedro Jiménez-Mejías2,3,*, Andrew L. Hipp4,*, Carmen Benítez-Benítez5, Leo P. Bruederle6, Kyong-Sook Chung7, Marcial Escudero8, Bruce A. Ford9, Kerry Ford10, Sebastian Gebauer11, Berit Gehrke12, Marlene Hahn4, Muhammad Qasim Hayat13, Mathias H. Hoffmann11, Xiao-Feng Jin14, Sangtae Kim15, Isabel Larridon16,17, Étienne Léveillé-Bourret18, Yi-Fei Lu19, Modesto Luceño5, Enrique Maguilla8, Jose Ignacio Márquez-Corro5, Santiago Martín-Bravo5, Tomomi Masaki20, Mónica Míguez5, Robert F. C. Naczi21, Anton A. Reznicek22, Daniel Spalink23, Julian R. Starr24, Uzma13, Tamara Villaverde25, Marcia J. Waterway26, Karen L. Wilson27, and Shuren Zhang28.   

  1. 1 School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4236 USA

    2 Departamento de Biología (Botánica), Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, c/ Darwin 2, 28049 Madrid, Spain

    3 Centro de Investigación en Biodiversidad y Cambio Global (CIBC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain

    4 The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532 USA

    5 Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemical Engineering, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain

    6 Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO 80217-3364 USA

    7 Jungwon University, Goesan, Chungbuk, South Korea

    8 Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Área de Botánica, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012 Sevilla, Spain

    9 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada

    10 Allan Herbarium, Manaaki-Whenua Landcare Research, PO Box 69040, Lincoln 7640, Canterbury, New Zealand

    11 Department of Systematic Botany, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Geobotany and Botanical Garden, D-06108 Halle (Saale), Germany

    12 Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, D-55122 Mainz, Germany

    13 Plant Systematics and Evolution Laboratory, Department of Plant Biotechnology, Atta-Ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan

    14 College of Life and Environment Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, 311121, China

    15 Department of Biology, Sungshin Women’s University, Seoul 01133, South Korea

    16 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE, United Kingdom

    17 Systematic and Evolutionary Botany Lab, Department of Biology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Gent, Belgium

    18 Université de Montréal, Département de sciences biologiques, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, 4101 Sherbrooke East, Montréal, Quebec H1X 2B2, Canada

    19 College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China

    20 Department of Biosphere-Geosphere Science, Faculty of Biosphere-Geosphere Science, Okayama University of Science, Okayama 700-0005, Japan

    21 New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458 USA

    22 University of Michigan Herbarium, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA

    23 Department of Ecosystem Science & Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843 USA

    24 Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Gendron Hall, Room 160, 30 Marie Curie, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5, Canada

    25 Departamento de Biología y Geología, Universidad de Almería, Ctra. Sacramento s/n. 04120 Almería, Spain

    26 Plant Science Department, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9

    27 National Herbarium New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

    28 Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Beijing, China

  • Received:2020-08-31 Accepted:2020-12-23

Abstract: Phylogenetic studies of Carex L. (Cyperaceae) have consistently demonstrated that most subgenera and sections are para- or polyphyletic. Yet taxonomists continue to use subgenera and sections in Carex classification. Why? The Global Carex Group here takes the position that the historical and continued use of subgenera and sections serves to (1) organize our understanding of lineages in Carex, (2) create an identification mechanism to break the ~2000 species of Carex into manageable groups and stimulate its study, and (3) provide a framework to recognize morphologically diagnosable lineages within Carex. Unfortunately, current understanding of phylogenetic relationships in Carex is not yet sufficient for a global reclassification of the genus within a Linnean infrageneric (sectional) framework. Rather than leaving Carex classification in its current state, which is misleading and confusing, we here take the intermediate steps of implementing the recently revised subgeneric classification and using a combination of informally named clades and formally named sections to reflect the current state of our knowledge. This hybrid classification framework is presented in order corresponding to a linear arrangement of the clades on a ladderized phylogeny, largely based on the recent phylogenies published by the GCG. It organizes Carex into six subgenera which are in turn subdivided into 62 formally named Linnean sections plus 49 informal groups. This framework will serve as a roadmap for research on Carex phylogeny, enabling further development of a complete reclassification by presenting relevant morphological and geographical information on clades where possible and standardizing the use of formal sectional names.