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A re-examination of the circumscription of Saxifraga mengtzeana (Saxifragaceae)
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  • Xinjian Zhang,
  • Richard Gornall,
  • zhouxin Zhang,
  • Jun-Tong Chen,
  • Hang SUN,
  • Tao Deng
Xinjian Zhang
Kunming Institute of Botany Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Richard Gornall
University of Leicester
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zhouxin Zhang
South China Agricultural University
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Jun-Tong Chen
Kunming Institute of Botany Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Hang SUN
Kunming Institute of Botany Chinese Academy of Sciences
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Tao Deng
Kunming Institute of Botany Chinese Academy of Sciences

Corresponding Author:dengtao@mail.kib.ac.cn

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In the Flora of China account (Pan et al. 2001) of Saxifraga mengtzeana Engl. & Irmsch., eight synonyms were attributed to it and one variant, recognised as S. epiphylla Gornall & Ohba, was split from it. This study re-evaluates the taxonomic status of some of the synonyms and of the segregated species in the light of new evidence presented here. Morphological and molecular evidence demonstrate that populations from north-western Yunnan and Sichuan are genetically differentiated from those in south-eastern Yunnan and neighbouring Guangxi. Observations in the field and in cultivation show that the peltate petiole attachment diagnostic of S. mengtzeana var. peltifolia Engl. & Irmsch. is developmentally labile. Similar observations combined with molecular data show that viviparous phenotypes, formerly treated as S. epiphylla, although largely under genetic control, occur sporadically throughout the ranges of both northern and southern taxa. Populations from north-western Yunnan and Sichuan are best recognised as S. geifolia Balf.f., whereas those from south-eastern Yunnan and neighbouring Guangxi are S. mengtzeana. Peltate-leaved variants of the latter are given no status and are relegated to complete synonymy. Viviparous phenotypes of S. mengtzeana are demoted to the rank of forma, as f. epiphylla; analogous phenotypes of S. geifolia are newly described as f. vivipara. Keywords China, Saxifragaceae, Phylogeny, Morphology, Taxonomy
21 Nov 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
22 Nov 2022Submission Checks Completed
22 Nov 2022Assigned to Editor
25 Nov 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
18 Jan 20231st Revision Received
19 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
19 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
19 Jan 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor