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FIGuring out the FIGS. - Systematic studies in Ficus, Moraceae, (Urostigma sect. Malvanthera).

FIGuring out the FIGS. - Systematic studies in Ficus, Moraceae, (Urostigma sect. Malvanthera).
Dale James Dixon


School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville City QLD 4811, AUSTRALIA.


 A revision of the Australian Urostigma  sect. Malvanthera  Corner (Ficus:  Moraceae) is presented. A phenetic analysis of morphometric characters using clustering techniques and multidimensional scaling was used to identify the taxa occurring in the F. platypoda (Miq.) A.Cunn ex Miq., F. leucotricha (Miq.) Miq., Ficus "obliqua-rubiginosa", and Ficus "prostrate" species complexes. Alpha taxonomic techniques were used to define the remaining Australian taxa. Seventeen taxa in fourteen species are recognised, including three new species, F. atricha D.J.Dixon, F. cerasicarpa D.J.Dixon, and F. lilliputiana D.J.Dixon. Ficus brachypoda (Miq.) Miq., is resurrected. The epithet glabrescens of F. rubiginosa f. glabrescens (F.M.Bailey) D.J.Dixon is also resurrected but with a change in status. The two infraspecific taxa of F. macrophylla Desf. ex Pers., have been reduced to forms. The remaining Australian species are F. crassipes F.M.Bailey, F. destruens F.Muell. ex C.T.White, F. obliqua G.Forst., F. platypoda, F. pleurocarpa F.Muell., F. rubiginosa Desf. ex Vent., F. subpuberula Corner, F. triradiata Corner, and F. watkinsiana F.M.Bailey. The taxonomy of the Urostigma  sect. Malvanthera  presented in this thesis is strongly supported by the pollinator wasp data, with each species of Ficus having a unique species of Pleistodontes Saunders as the pollinator wasp. A phylogenetic analysis reflecting relationships between the Australian and the New Guinea species in the Urostigma sect. Malvanthera is presented. A formal rearrangement of taxa as well as a key, descriptions, notes, and distribution maps are provided for the Australian species. Recommendations are made for future research in the Urostigma sect. Malvanthera.