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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


ARROYO, Juan. Narcissus (Amaryllidaceae), the evolution of flower polymorphisms and conservation beyond the "red lists". Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2002, vol.75, n.1, pp.39-55. ISSN 0716-078X.

In this review I address the significance of the genus Narcissus (Amaryllidaceae) as an ideal study case for the models of the evolution of heterostyly, supplying recent data which confirm a good fit to Lloyd & Webb's (1992a, 1992b) model. In particular, there are species of Narcissus which represent ancestral and derived conditions suggested in that model, although a robust phylogeny is still needed to ascertain such a pattern. Hence, flower monomorphism with approach herkogamy and genetic compatibility, stylar dimorphism, distyly and tristyly are reported. The incompatibility system is variable, although the one typical of heterostylous plants (i.e., diallelic) is not found in Narcissus. In addition to these macroevolutionary patterns (associated to speciation), I analyse some variations at the population (i.e., microevolutionary) scale in order to explain why stylar dimorphism is so frequent in this genus, and particularly why the long-styled morph is more frequent in most species. Since Narcissus is a species-rich genus, including many endemic taxa, it has representatives in most «red lists» of threatened species within its distributional range. Therefore, I considered this genus appropriate for evaluating the criteria commonly used to incorporate species to these lists. Most red-listed Narcissus species belong to only a few taxonomic groups (sections), which, in turn, are the less diverse in flower polymorphisms meaningful to the models for the evolution of heterostyly. On the other hand, the biological information included in these lists is evaluated in order to its possible use in model testing. In most cases, this information is useless, since it is inexact or too vague. I suggest that, in further elaborations of red lists, the scientific relevance of species as study systems to understand general evolutionary and/or ecological processes should be considered. Ideally, the information to be obtained for these species should constitute a data base sufficient to elaborate a Biological Flora similar to the long since being established in the British Isles or the recently started one in central Europe

Keywords : breeding system; diversity; endemism; geophyte; heterostyly; Mediterranean basin.

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