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68(3) (PDF/A 709 KBytes) published online: July 09 2019 Notes on the Androlepis Alliance, a lineage of Bromelioideae
Ramirez et al.Before the advent of DNA sequencing, classifications of plants in general, and of Bromeliaceae in particular, were primarily based on morphological characters observed in herbarium specimens (e.g. Smith & Downs, 1974, 1977, 1979). These classification systems were easy to use because they tended to be based on macroscopic features, such as shapes of floral bracts, sepals, and presence or absence of petal appendages. With the advance of methods for phylogenetic reconstruction and relying on different character sources, especially DNA sequences, we realize, that many of the groupings based solely upon conspicuous morphological features resulted in many artificial classifications, composed by species that do not share a recent common ancestors and have different evolutionary histories (what are known as non-monophyletic groups) (Faria et al., 2004; Schulte et al., 2005, 2009; Schulte & Zizka, 2008; Sass & Specht, 2010; Evans et al., 2015). It is well known that morphological similarities could result from different phenomena, such as evolutionary convergence, where identical or almost identical structures occur in species with different evolutionary histories. This phenomenon, which has probably taken place many times in bromeliads, coupled with the limited knowledge that we have about the origin of many structures used in the taxonomic classifications, are some of the problems that obscure our classifications based on monophyletic groups.
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