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Application of morphometric techniques to the taxonomy of the genus Grammitis Sw. (Filices: Grammitidaceae) in SE Australia and New Zealand

Robinson, Barrie 1993 , 'Application of morphometric techniques to the taxonomy of the genus Grammitis Sw. (Filices: Grammitidaceae) in SE Australia and New Zealand', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Grammitis Sw. is a genus of small ferns found mostly in tropical regions in
mossy, high altitude forests. It occurs in south eastern Australia and New
Zealand, where it has been poorly understood until recently. The taxonomy of the
genus has been less than satisfactory, with all material being lumped by most
workers into a single variable species, G. billardieri Willd.

In 1975, Parris, and in 1976, Parris and Given published revisions of Grammitis
for Australia and New Zealand, respectively, establishing the new species, G.
meridionalis, G. stenophylla, G. rawlingsii, G. pseudociliata and G. givenii as
well as a number of tropical ones. However, these revisions do not always
distinguish satisfactorily between these new species and those previously

In an attempt to clarify the status of the species in Australia and New Zealand,
multivariate statistical techniques were applied to a wide range of characters
(including biochemical ones). Another research objective was to assess the
suitability of various statistical techniques for making taxonomic decisions such
as those required in this study.

The techniques used included both univariate and multivariate analysis of
variance, quadratic discriminant analysis, stepwise linear discriminant analysis,
single linkage cluster analysis using K-dissimilarities based on normal
information radii and Akaike's information criterion. With the exception of
cluster analysis, these techniques gave better species definition than classical
techniques as presently applied.

It was determined that G. meridionalis Parris is distinct from G. billardieri
Willd., but that it is difficult to separate from G. magellanicaDesv., and may need
to be reduced to a subspecies of the latter. It was further determined that certain
populations of Grammitis in Tasmania are identical with G. magellanica Desv.
ssp. magellanica, and G. patagonica (C. Chr.) Parris, respectively, both of which
are presently recognized as being restricted to South America and the territory of
New Zealand. The subspecific compositions of G. poeppigiana (Mett.) Pic. Ser.
and of G. magellanica Desv. were examined, and no evidence was found for any
change to the status quo, other than the possible incorporation of G. meridionalis
Parris into G. magellanica Desv. Finally, the application of these statistical
techniques suggested that certain populations from Western Tasmania may
represent an undescribed species. Further work, outlined in this thesis, needs to
be undertaken to determine the status of both of these last populations.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Robinson, Barrie
Keywords: Grammitis, Grammitis, Botany, Morphology
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1993 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 178-188)

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