Publications by authors named "Peter C van Welzen"

7 Publications

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New Guinea has the world's richest island flora.

Nature 2020 08 5;584(7822):579-583. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

The Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea.

New Guinea is the world's largest tropical island and has fascinated naturalists for centuries. Home to some of the best-preserved ecosystems on the planet and to intact ecological gradients-from mangroves to tropical alpine grasslands-that are unmatched in the Asia-Pacific region, it is a globally recognized centre of biological and cultural diversity. So far, however, there has been no attempt to critically catalogue the entire vascular plant diversity of New Guinea. Here we present the first, to our knowledge, expert-verified checklist of the vascular plants of mainland New Guinea and surrounding islands. Our publicly available checklist includes 13,634 species (68% endemic), 1,742 genera and 264 families-suggesting that New Guinea is the most floristically diverse island in the world. Expert knowledge is essential for building checklists in the digital era: reliance on online taxonomic resources alone would have inflated species counts by 22%. Species discovery shows no sign of levelling off, and we discuss steps to accelerate botanical research in the 'Last Unknown'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2549-5DOI Listing
August 2020

A New Classification of Ficus Subsection Urostigma (Moraceae) Based on Four Nuclear DNA Markers (ITS, ETS, G3pdh, and ncpGS), Morphology and Leaf Anatomy.

PLoS One 2015 24;10(6):e0128289. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Botany, Leiden, The Netherlands; Institute Biology Leiden, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Ficus subsection Urostigma as currently circumscribed contains 27 species, distributed in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific, and is of key importance to understand the origin and evolution of Ficus and the fig-wasp mutualism. The species of subsection Urostigma are very variable in morphological characters and exhibit a wide range of often partly overlapping distributions, which makes identification often difficult. The systematic classification within and between this subsection and others is problematic, e.g., it is still unclear where to classify F. amplissima and F. rumphii. To clarify the circumscription of subsection Urostigma, a phylogenetic reconstruction based on four nuclear DNA markers (ITS, ETS, G3pdh, and ncpGS) combined with morphology and leaf anatomy is conducted. The phylogenetic tree based on the combined datasets shows that F. madagascariensis, a Madagascan species, is sister to the remainder of subsect. Urostigma. Ficus amplissima and F. rumphii, formerly constituting sect. Leucogyne, appear to be imbedded in subsect. Conosycea. The result of the phylogenetic analysis necessitates nomenclatural adjustments. A new classification of Ficus subsection Urostigma is presented along with the morphological and leaf anatomical apomorphies typical for the clades. Two new species are described ─ one in subsect. Urostigma, the other in Conosycea. One variety is raised to species level.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0128289PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479584PMC
March 2016

Historical distribution of Sundaland's Dipterocarp rainforests at Quaternary glacial maxima.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Nov 10;111(47):16790-5. Epub 2014 Nov 10.

Faculty of Science, University Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, BE 1410, Brunei.

The extent of Dipterocarp rainforests on the emergent Sundaland landmass in Southeast Asia during Quaternary glaciations remains a key question. A better understanding of the biogeographic history of Sundaland could help explain current patterns of biodiversity and support the development of effective forest conservation strategies. Dipterocarpaceae trees dominate the rainforests of Sundaland, and their distributions serve as a proxy for rainforest extent. We used species distribution models (SDMs) of 317 Dipterocarp species to estimate the geographic extent of appropriate climatic conditions for rainforest on Sundaland at the last glacial maximum (LGM). The SDMs suggest that the climate of central Sundaland at the LGM was suitable to sustain Dipterocarp rainforest, and that the presence of a previously suggested transequatorial savannah corridor at that time is unlikely. Our findings are supported by palynologic evidence, dynamic vegetation models, extant mammal and termite communities, vascular plant fatty acid stable isotopic compositions, and stable carbon isotopic compositions of cave guano profiles. Although Dipterocarp species richness was generally lower at the LGM, areas of high species richness were mostly found off the current islands and on the emergent Sunda Shelf, indicating substantial species migration and mixing during the transitions between the Quaternary glacial maxima and warm periods such as the present.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1403053111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250149PMC
November 2014

Dated phylogenies of the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae): congruence in historical biogeographic patterns?

PLoS One 2014 17;9(1):e85713. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, sector Herbarium, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Molecular phylogenies and estimates of divergence times within the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus were estimated using Bayesian relaxed clock analyses of two generic data sets, one per genus. Both data sets were based on different molecular markers and largely different samples. Per genus three calibration points were utilised. The basal calibration point (crown node of all taxa used) was taken from literature and used for both taxa. The other three calibrations were based on fossils of which two were used per genus. We compared patterns of dispersal and diversification in Macaranga and Mallotus using ancestral area reconstruction in RASP (S-DIVA option) and contrasted our results with biogeographical and geological records to assess accuracy of inferred age estimates. A check of the fossil calibration point showed that the Japanese fossil, used for dating the divergence of Mallotus, probably had to be attached to a lower node, the stem node of all pioneer species, but even then the divergence time was still younger than the estimated age of the fossil. The African (only used in the Macaranga data set) and New Zealand fossils (used for both genera) seemed reliably placed. Our results are in line with existing geological data and the presence of stepping stones that provided dispersal pathways from Borneo to New Guinea-Australia, from Borneo to mainland Asia and additionally at least once to Africa and Madagascar via land and back to India via Indian Ocean island chains. The two genera show congruence in dispersal patterns, which corroborate divergence time estimates, although the overall mode and tempo of dispersal and diversification differ significantly as shown by distribution patterns of extant species.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0085713PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3894986PMC
September 2014

Phylogeny of palaeotropic Derris-like taxa (Fabaceae) based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences shows reorganization of (infra)generic classifications is needed.

Am J Bot 2012 Nov;99(11):1793-808

Naturalis Biodiversity Center (section NHN), Leiden University, P. O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Premise Of The Study: Palaeotropic Derris-like taxa (family Fabaceae, tribe Millettieae) comprise 6-9 genera. They are well known as important sources of rotenone toxin, which are used as organic insecticide and fish poison. However, their phylogenetic relationships and classification are still problematic due to insufficient sampling and high morphological variability.

Methods: Fifty species of palaeotropic Derris-like taxa were sampled, which is more than in former studies. Three chloroplast genes (trnK-matK, trnL-F IGS, and psbA-trnH IGS) and nuclear ribosomal ITS /5.8S were analyzed using parsimony and Bayesian methods.

Key Results: Parsimony and Bayesian analyses of individual and combined markers show more or less similar tree topologies (only varying in terminal branches). The old-world monophyletic genera Aganope, Brachypterum, and Leptoderris are distinct from Derris s.s., and their generic status is here confirmed. Aganope may be classified into two or three subgeneric taxa. Paraderris has to be included in Derris s.s. to form a monophyletic group. The genera Philenoptera, Deguelia, and Lonchocarpus are monophyletic and distinct from each other and clearly separate from Derris s.s. Morphologically highly similar species of Derris s.s. are shown to be unrelated. Our study shows that previous infrageneric classifications of Derris are incorrect. Paraderris elliptica may contain several cryptic lineages that need further investigation.

Conclusions: The concept of the genus Derris s.s. should be reorganized with a new generic circumscription by including Paraderris but excluding Brachypterum. Synapomorphic morphological features will be examined in future studies, and the status of the newly defined Derris and its closely related taxa will be formalized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1200390DOI Listing
November 2012

Delimitation of Sauropus (Phyllanthaceae) based on plastid matK and nuclear ribosomal ITS DNA Sequence data.

Ann Bot 2008 Dec 14;102(6):1007-18. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University, PO Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background And Aims: A recent molecular phylogenetic study showed that Sauropus is deeply embedded within Phyllanthus together with its allies, Breynia and Glochidion. As relationships within Sauropus are still problematic and the relationship with Breynia has long been doubted, more molecular data are needed to test/corroborate such a broad definition of Phyllanthus. This study aims to clarify the status and delimitation of Sauropus and establish its position within Phyllanthaceae.

Methods: Plastid matK and nuclear ribosomal ITS DNA sequence data for Sauropus and its allies were used to construct phylogenetic trees using maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods.

Key Results: Within Phyllanthus, Sauropus can be split into the mainly south-east Asian Sauropus sensu stricto (s.s.) plus Breynia and the mainly Australian Sauropus (formerly Synostemon). Sauropus s.s. plus Breynia comprise two distinct clades; one is the combination of Sauropus sections Glochidioidei, Sauropus and Schizanthi and the other is the combination of Sauropus sections Cryptogynium and Hemisauropus and the monophyletic genus Breynia.

Conclusions: Molecular data indicate that Synostemon should be reinstated at the same level as Sauropus s.s. and that Sauropus s.s. should be united with Breynia under the latter, older name. The molecular data corroborate only two of the five infrageneric groups of Sauropus recognized on the basis of morphological data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2712409PMC
December 2008

Molecular phylogeny of Macaranga, Mallotus, and related genera (Euphorbiaceae s.s.): insights from plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data.

Am J Bot 2007 Oct;94(10):1726-43

Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden University branch, P.O. Box 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands;

Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae s.s.) are two closely related, large paleo(sub)tropical genera. To investigate the phylogenetic relationships between and within them and to determine the position of related genera belonging to the subtribe Rottlerinae, we sequenced one plastid (trnL-F) and three nuclear (ITS, ncpGS, phyC) markers for species representative of these genera. The analyses demonstrated the monophyly of Macaranga and the paraphyly of Mallotus and revealed three highly supported main clades. The genera Cordemoya and Deuteromallotus and the Mallotus sections Hancea and Oliganthae form a basal Cordemoya s.l. clade. The two other clades, the Macaranga clade and the Mallotus s.s. clade (the latter with Coccoceras, Neotrewia, Octospermum, and Trewia), are sister groups. In the Macaranga clade, two basal lineages (comprising mostly sect. Pseudorottlera) and a crown group with three geographically homogenous main clades were identified. The phylogeny of the Mallotus s.s. clade is less clear because of internal conflict in all four data sets. Many of the sections and informal infrageneric groups of Macaranga and Mallotus do not appear to be monophyletic. In both the Macaranga and Mallotus s.s. clades, the African and/or Madagascan taxa are nested in Asian clades, suggesting migrations or dispersals from Asia to Africa and Madagascar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.94.10.1726DOI Listing
October 2007
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