Table of Contents

01 May 2009, Volume 47 Issue 3
Cover illustration: Top left, Syncalathium kawaguchii (Kitam.) Y. Ling (Asteraceae-Lactuceae), right, S. souliei (Franch.) Y. Ling; middle left, S. disciforme (Mattf.) Y. Ling, right, S. roseum Y. Ling; bottom left, S. chrysocephalum (C. Shih) S.W. Liu, right, S. pilosum (Y. Ling) C. Shih. Photographed by Jian-Wen ZHANG (all except top left and bottom left) and Hang SUN (top left, bottom left). See ZHANG et al., pp. 226–230 in this issue.
    Research Articles
  • Qing-Song YANG, Wen-Yun CHEN, Ke XIA, Zhe-Kun ZHOU
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 183-190.
    Evergreen sclerophyllous oaks (the E.S. oaks, Quercus section Heterobalanus) are the dominant species of the local ecosystem in the eastern Himalaya and the Hengduan Mountains, southwest China. In this study, we document the climatic envelope of the seven E.S. oak species and examine the relationships between climate and their distribution. This was done using a principal components analysis (PCA) and multiple regression analysis (MRA) of nine climatic indices. The main climatic envelope of the E.S. oaks were: mean temperature of the warmest month (MTW)=12.0–19.5 °C, warmth index (WI) = 33.2–88.9 °C month, annual biotemperature (BT)=−6.9–−0.3 °C, coldness index (CI)=−30.4–−10.1 °C month, mean temperature of the coldest month (MTC)=−3.7–3.0 °C and annual precipitation (AP)=701–897 mm at the lower limits; and MTW=8.3–16.1 °C, WI=15.7–59.1 °C month, BT=3.6–8.9 °C, CI=−55.4–−19.3 °C month, MTC=8.3–16.1 °C and AP=610–811 mm at the upper limits. The climatic range of the E.S. oaks is wide and includes two climatic zones, the cool-temperature zone and the subpolar zone. The PCA and MRA results suggest that the thermal climate plays a major role and precipitation plays a secondary role in controlling the large-scale distribution of the E.S. oaks, except Quercus monimotricha. In thermal regimes, BT and/or MTW are most important for both lower and upper limits of the E.S. oaks. Furthermore, our results indicate that the upper distribution limits of the E.S. oaks are less determined by low temperatures and their duration (CI) than by other factors.
  • Zhihua JIAO, Jianhua LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 191-201.
    Pachysandra is an eastern Asian–North American disjunct genus with three species, two in eastern Asia (Pachysandra axillaris and Pachysandra terminalis) and one in eastern North America (Pachysandra procumbens). Although morphological and cytological studies suggest a close affinity of P. procumbens with P. axillaris, molecular data from nuclear and chloroplast DNA regions have provided conflicting signals. In this study, we tested previous phylogenetic hypotheses using sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers and chloroplast ndhF gene from multiple individuals of each of the three species. We also estimated the time of divergence between eastern Asia and eastern North America. Our results support the morphological and cytological conclusion that P. procumbens is more closely related to P. axillaris than to P. terminalis. The estimated time of divergence of P. axillaris and P. procumbens was 14.6±5.5 mya, consistent with estimates from many other eastern Asian–North American disjunct genera. The migration of Pachysandra populations from eastern Asia to North America might have occurred by way of the North Atlantic land bridge.
  • Dmitry A GERMAN, Wen-Li CHEN
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 202-219.
    A critical revision of the collections of Brassicaceae in some Chinese (PE, XJA, XJBI, XJFA, XJNM, XJU) and foreign (LE, P) herbaria is made. One genus, Neurotropis (DC.) F. K. Mey., and 11 species, Alyssum szarabiacum Nyár., Barbarea stricta Andrz., Erysimum czernjajevii N. Busch, Erysimum kotuchovii D. German, Erysimum mongolicum D. German, Lepidium karelinianum Al-Shehbaz, Matthiola superba Conti, Neurotropis platycarpa (Fisch. & Mey.) F. K. Mey., Ptilotrichum dahuricum Peschkova, Sisymbrium subspinescens Bunge, and Smelowskia micrantha (Botsch. & Vved.) Al-Shehbaz & S. I. Warwick, are reported from China for the first time. Six species, Aphragmus involucratus (Bunge) O. E. Schulz, Dontostemon perennis C. A. Mey., Goldbachia torulosa DC., Lepidium amplexicaule Willd., Neotorularia brevipes (Kar. & Kir.) Hedge & J. Léonard, and Parrya stenocarpa Kar. & Kir., are confirmed to occurr in China. Five species, Dontostemon integrifolius (L.) C. A. Mey., Draba zangbeiensis L. L. Lou, Lepidium alashanicum H. L. Yang, Sinapis arvensis L., and Strigosella brevipes (Bunge) Botsch., are reported as novelties for some provinces in China, and Strigosella hispida (Litv.) Botsch. occurs in Xinjiang, China. However, the occurrence of one genus, Pseudoarabidopsis Al-Shehbaz, O'Kane & Price, and four species, Draba huetii Boiss., Eutrema halophilum (C. A. Mey.) Al-Shehbaz & S. I. Warwick, Galitzkya spathulata (Steph. ex Willd.) V. Bocz., and Pseudoarabidopsis toxophylla (Bieb.) Al-Shehbaz, O'Kane & Price, could not be confirmed in China. The occurrence of six species, Aphragmus bouffordii Al-Shehbaz, Barbarea orthoceras Ledeb., Lepidium latifolium L., Ptilotrichum canescens (DC.) C. A. Mey., Strigosella hispida (Litv.) Botsch., and Strigosella scorpioides (Bunge) Botsch., is not confirmed in certain provinces of China. All names follow the latest taxonomic treatment for relevant groups; detailed morphological descriptions of the newly recorded taxa are provided; and distinguishing characters from related species already known in China are discussed. Other comments are provided where needed.
  • Qin-Wen LIN, Zhi-Xiang ZHANG
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 220-225.
    Microtropis macrocarpa C.Y. Cheng & T.C. Kao has been treated as a synonym of Microtropis macrophylla Merr. & Freeman in most taxonomic reports in China. According to our study, M. macrocarpa is an independent species endemic to Yunnan, China. Microtropis macrophylla and Microtropis pachyphylla Merr. & Freeman should be treated as synonyms of Microtropis longifolia Wall. ex Kurz. M. macrocarpa is also identified as a critically endangered species, CR B1ab (i,ii,iii,v), based on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. The foliar surface, anther and pollen structures were also observed with a scanning electron microscope.
  • Jian-Wen ZHANG, Ze-Long NIE, Hang SUN
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 226-230.
    Cytological characters of four species in Syncalathium (Asteraceae: Lactuceae), a small genus with six identified species endemic to alpine scree of the Sino-Himalayan region, are surveyed in this report. Three species (Syncalathium pilosum, Syncalathium chrysocephalum, and Syncalathium disciforme) are examined for the first time. Combined with our previous counts, five species have been cytologically investigated from the genus and the results indicated that all species are diploid with the basic somatic chromosome number of x=8. The karyotype asymmetry of Syncalathium souliei is 2A, distinct from the other four species of 1A, and the remaining species are divided into two subgroups with different karyotypes, consistent with their morphological features. The significance of the cytological evolution of Syncalathium is briefly discussed.
  • Gao CHEN, Wei-Bang SUN, Hang SUN
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 231-236.
    Buddleja macrostachya (Buddlejaceae) is a widespread shrub native to the Sino-Himalayan mountains and beyond. It has been found to occur at two ploidy levels, hexaploid, 2n=6x=114 and dodecaploid, 2n=12x=228. To determine if morphological characters might be used as indicators of ploidy levels, we measured floral and fruit length, relative and absolute leaf size, trichome density on both leaf surfaces, and stomatal density and length in different populations of B. macrostachya. In general, flower and fruit length, absolute leaf size, and stomatal length increased with an increase at ploidy level (P<0.01), whereas adaxial cell and stomatal density decreased with an increase at ploidy level (P<0.01). We found no conspicuous differences in relative leaf size (P>0.05) in different populations. Other characters studied such as trichome type, cuticular membrane and ornamentation of stomata, cell and stomatal shape, and anticlinal wall pattern were quite constant in this species. Thus it appears that flower and fruit length, absolute leaf size, and stomatal frequency and length can be used to distinguish hexaploid from dodecaploid cytotypes either in the field or in herbarium specimens.
  • Li-Min CAO, Nian-He XIA
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 237-244.
    The floral organogenesis and development of Delavaya toxocarpa Franch. (Sapindaceae) were studied under scanning electron microscope and light microscope to determine its systematic position within Sapindaceae. Flowers arise in terminal thyrses. The sepal primordia initiate in a spiral (2/5) sequence, which are not synchronous. The five petal primordia initiate almost synchronously and alternate with sepal primordia. Eight stamens initiate almost simultaneously and their differentiation precedes that of the petals. The last formed petal and one stamen initiate from a common primordium. Mature stamens curve inwards and cover the ovary in bud. The gynoecium begins as a hemispheric primordium on which two carpellary lobes arise simultaneously. Later in development a single gynocium is formed with two locules and two ovules per locule. Floral morphology suggests a closer affinity with Sapindaceae, although certain features of floral ontogenesis are similar to those observed in certain members of the former Hippocastanaceae, such as Handeliodendron.
  • Jian-Hua HAO, Sheng QIANG, Qian-Qian LIU, Fei CAO
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 245-254.
    Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker, a member of Asteraceae, is a highly invasive species. However, its reproduction biology remains poorly known. To understand the role of reproductive traits in successful invasion of the species, we studied several traits of its reproductive system: the miniature capitulum and gynomonoecious sexual system, the biology and phenology of capitula and florets, pollen/ovule ratio, the mating system (self-compatibility), flower visitors, physical traits and dispersal potential of achenes, germination potential of achenes from manually pollinated capitula, and the association of these traits with invasiveness. Our study showed that the reproductive traits of autonomous seed production, versatile mating system of self- and cross-pollination, and generalized pollination system might contribute to the species' successful invasive capability. The invasiveness was further enhanced by the high and rapid production of achenes, as well as the high percentage, rapid germination rate and high dispersal capability of achenes. It was concluded that in annual or winter-annual weeds, autonomous seed production contributed significantly to the invasiveness of the species.
  • Xu-Mei WANG, Dong-Ye YANG, Yong-Zhen TIAN, Peng-Fei TU, Qi-Shi SUN, Xiao-Bo LI
    J Syst Evol. 2009, 47(3): 255-262.
    Haloxylon ammodendron (C. A. Mey.) Bunge is a host for the holoparasitic plant Cistanche deserticola Y. C. Ma, the original source of medicinal material known as Herba Cistanchis. The inter-simple sequence repeat marker was used to assess the genetic variations and relationships among six accessions of H. ammodendron with a total of 120 individuals collected from three localities in the Alxa Desert, Inner Mongolia, China. At each locality, individuals both parasitized (PP) by C. deserticola and non-parasitized (NP) were sampled. The results showed that Nei's gene diversity and Shannon's index of PP accessions were higher, but were not significantly different, from those of NP accessions. An unweighted pair-group method arithmetic average dendrogram showed two clusters, one that included all PP accessions, and the other the NP accessions. Genetic differentiation therefore existed between PP and NP accessions, which might be attributed to low gene flow between the NP and PP groups (Nm<1). However, the relationship between genetic distance and geographic distance within each group, although not statistically significant in this study, might be associated with high gene flow in both the NP and PP groups.