© 2018, The Author(s). The Balearic Islands, Corsica and Sardinia (BCS) constitute biodiversity hotspots in the western Mediterranean Basin. Oligocene connections and long distance dispersal events have been suggested to cause presence of BCS shared endemic species. One of them is Cymbalaria aequitriloba, which, together with three additional species, constitute a polyploid clade endemic to BCS. Combining amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting, plastid DNA sequences and morphometrics, we inferred the phylogeography of the group and evaluated the species’ current taxonomic circumscriptions. Based on morphometric and AFLP data we propose a new circumscription for C. fragilis to additionally comprise a group of populations with intermediate morphological characters previously included in C. aequitriloba. Consequently, we suggest to change the IUCN category of C. fragilis from critically endangered (CR) to near threatened (NT). Both morphology and AFLP data support the current taxonomy of the single island endemics C. hepaticifolia and C. muelleri. The four species had a common origin in Corsica-Sardinia, and two long-distance dispersal events to the Balearic Islands were inferred. Finally, plastid DNA data suggest that interspecific gene flow took place where two species co-occur.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2018|