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Biosistematic and Phylogeny of the genus Philonotis Brid. (Bartramiaceae, Bryophyta) in the south of South America

MarĂ­a Soledad Jimenez (Argentina)

Philonotis Brid. is a genus of the Bartramiaceae family comprising 180 species around the world, 30 of them being recorded for the Neotropics. In Argentina Philonotis is represented by 19 taxa distributed mainly on southern and northwestern of the country. The species of this genus are characterized by its small size, the presence of a hialodermis in the stem and subfloral innovations; small leaves with prorate cells; seta elongate, suberect to inclined capsule, striate when dry; peristome double, rarely single or absent; and reniform and papillose spore. It is a widespread genus frequent on soil or rock that is generally associated with wet habitats. The genus includes species with very variable characteristics, and hence the species determination turns out to be difficult. The aim of the project was to carry out a taxonomic study of the genus Philonotis Brid. in southern South America, especially at northeastern Argentina, and to establish the phylogenetic relationships within this group.

Funding associated to this grant was mainly used for laboratory investigation and field work. The material was collected in protected and non-protected areas in Northeastern Argentina (Corrientes and Misiones Provinces), being deposited in CTES and LIL herbaria. These samples were morphological and anatomically studied through the conventional methodology used to identify bryophytes. The species found in the area were identified based on specific literature. At the moment, two taxa were recorded for the first time to Argentina. To corroborate these determinations around 200 of samples were requested on loan to the most important herbaria in Argentina (BA, SI, LIL and CORD) and are being still revised.

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