Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 304, Issue 5, pp 679–697 | Cite as

A multivariate morphometric delimitation of species boundaries in the South American genus Nicoraepoa (Poaceae: Pooideae: Poeae)

  • Victor L. Finot
  • Robert J. Soreng
  • Liliana M. Giussani
  • Romina G. Muñoz
Original Article


A multivariate morphometric study of the genus Nicoraepoa was carried out to examine patterns of morphological variation among the species and to identify additional characters to allow a clearer delimitation among species. Nicoraepoa is a taxonomically complex genus comprising seven species endemic to South America. Although most of the species are well delimited, two of them, N. andina and N. chonotica, are morphologically similar and very difficult to separate. The morphological variation among species, with overlapping morphological characters, pseudovivipary and possible hybridization make species boundaries unclear. In the present paper, sixty-seven characters were scored for a total of 216 specimens and analyzed using ordination, cluster and discriminant analyses. Based on multivariate results, we recognized species groups and morphological diagnostic characters that allow clearer species delimitation. As a result, N. chonotica has been transferred to N. andina as a subspecies that inhabit southern Patagonia. Other taxa could be recognized and delimited by diagnostic characters: N. erinacea, N. pugionifolia, N. stepparia, N. subenervis subsp. spegazziniana and N. subenervis subsp. subenervis. Moreover, we discuss the possibility that a new species from Bolivia, based on only one specimen, closely related to N. subenervis should be ascribed in Nicoraepoa.


Argentina Bolivia Chile Multivariate analysis Southern Patagonia Species delimitation 



Authors sincerely thank the Directors and Curators of the herbaria BAA, CONC, LPB, SI, SGO and US for loan specimens for this study and sending digital images of the types. Universidad de Concepción, Smithsonian Institution, and Instituto de Botánica Darwinion are thanked for logistical support; Paul Peterson for RJS field work in Argentina in 2003 and 2006. We also thank Paola Martínez and Nicolás Villalobos for technical support. Thanks are due to two anonymous reviewers for comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

606_2018_1499_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (188 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 188 kb)
606_2018_1499_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (63 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 63 kb)
606_2018_1499_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (96 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 95 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor L. Finot
    • 1
  • Robert J. Soreng
    • 2
  • Liliana M. Giussani
    • 3
  • Romina G. Muñoz
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile
  2. 2.Department of Botany, United States National Herbarium, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Instituto de Botánica DarwinionBuenos AiresArgentina

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