Species delimitation within the neotropical genus Cecropia in French Guiana: integrating morphological and molecular techniques.

Funding & duration

Labex Ceba, 2013. (1 year)

Scientist manager

Patrick Heuret

Scientist partnership

  • UMR EcoFoG, France
  • UMR Amap, France
  • UMR Cefe, France
  • CSIRO, Australia

Presentation of the project

Cecropia trees are a vital component of Neotropical forests and model study systems for diverse knowledge domains. Morphological traits currently delimit 61 species but strong ontogenetic variation and phenotypic plasticity for these traits within and between species makes circumscription and identification extremely challenging. Putative evidence of gene flow between closely related or recently diverged taxa further complicates the situation. To underpin a broader investigation of Cecropia species delimitation, this project will use neutral molecular markers to delimit the seven French Guianese Cecropia species and elucidate different sources of morphological variability.

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