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Research Paper | September 1, 2015

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Phenotypic diversity and taxonomic relationship of Rhizophora species based on morphological markers

Leah E. Endonela, Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese, Nestor C. Altoveros, Teresita H. Borromeo

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.7(3), 236-243, September 2015

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Abstract

The phenotypic diversity and taxonomic relatedness of Indo-West Pacific (IWP) Rhizophora species in Pagapas Bay, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines was investigated based on morphometric markers. Comparative analysis of characterization data revealed the occurrence of R. apiculata, R. mucronata, R. stylosa and hybrid R. × lamarckii in overlapping population. At field condition, the Rhizophora species were effectively distinguished by leaf, floral and hypocotyl attributes. Analysis of 40 morphometric parameters using standardized Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index (H’) showed computed average H’ value of 0.77 indicating high intraspecific phenotypic diversity among the Rhizophora species. Cluster analysis of qualitative traits using UPGMA SAHN Simple Matching Coefficient revealed that at coefficient 0.76, R. mucronata and R. stylosa showed 100% similarity while analysis of quantitative traits using Euclidean Distance Coefficient at coefficient 7.12, R. mucronata showed 100% similarity with R. × lamarckii. In both dendrograms, R. × lamarckii clustered with R. mucronata and R. stylosa while R. apiculata formed a separate distinct group. Hence, this study claims that either R. mucronata or R. stylosa is the possible parental species of R. × lamarckii. Interestingly, however, R. × lamarckii exhibit intermediate morphometric features of R. apiculata and R. mucronata. Having adapted to the same environment through time the expressed morphological traits are mainly genotypic effects, hence, are distinctive, uniform and stable at species level. Reliance to morphometric markers remain useful in species identification, diversity assessment and taxonomic studies.

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Phenotypic diversity and taxonomic relationship of Rhizophora species based on morphological markers

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