Journal Article

Cryptic Speciation in the <i>Caesalpinia hintonii</i> Complex (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) in a Seasonally Dry Mexican Forest

Solange Sotuyo, Alfonso Delgado-Salinas, Mark W. Chase, Gwilym P. Lewis and Ken Oyama

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 6, pages 1307-1314
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Cryptic Speciation in the Caesalpinia hintonii Complex (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) in a Seasonally Dry Mexican Forest

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


Show Summary Details


Backgroud and Aims

The Caesalpinia hintonii group comprises six species of endemic shrubs or trees, C. epifanioi, C. hintonii, C. laxa, C. macvaughii, C. melanadenia and C. oyamae, found in scattered patches of seasonally dry forest in the Río Balsas depression and the neighbouring Tehuacán–Cuicatlán valley, which are part of the Mexican morphotectonic province of Sierra Madre del Sur. An evaluation is made of phylogeographic patterns and genetic diversity with a phylogenetic analysis of the C. hintonii complex in order to study the dynamics of speciation in this endemic group of legumes.


A phylogeographic study based on four highly variable non-coding plastid regions (trnL intron, trnL-F intergenic spacer, trnH-psbA intergenic spacer, and accD-psaI intergenic spacer) was carried out for the Caesalpinia hintonii complex. Five of the six taxa of the C. hintonii complex were included.

Key Results and Conclusions

The plastid analyses involving multiple accessions of each taxon from throughout their ranges resolved C. epifanioi and C. hintonii as well-supported clusters, but C. oyamae has two unexpectedly divergent lineages. Two well-supported geographic clades: eastern (C. epifanioi, C. melanadenia and C. oyamae) and western (C. hintonii and C. macvaughii) were established. The analyses performed provide evidence of recent morphostatic radiation in C. oyamae resulting from isolation and local adaptation. This pattern of genetic differentiation without morphological divergence may be a model that fits many groups of tropical woody taxa inhabiting similarly dry forests subjected to shifting selection.

Keywords: Caesalpinia hintonii complex; legumes; Mesoamerica; Mexico; plant phylogeography; population differentiation; seasonally dry forest

Journal Article.  4958 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.