In this study, the East Asian diversity of green-algal Lobaria was evaluated by applying both morphological and phylogenetic approaches. A multi-locus phylogenetic analysis of 72 green-algal Lobaria specimens was performed using a three-locus and time-calibrated species-tree approach. The analyses demonstrate that pairs of sexually and vegetatively reproducing lineages split into highly supported monophyletic clades. Taxonomically, 11 green-algal Lobaria species were identified as new to science, while 10 were previously described species. The species differentiated during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. The coincidence of paleoclimatic events with estimated dates of divergence support a bioclimatic hypothesis for species evolution in the green-algal Lobaria. Molecular phylogenies, a summary of diversity, detailed new species descriptions and geographical analyses are provided. Special recognition of species with a long evolutionary history, which merit high conservation priority, will be critical for preserving geographically restricted endemics in the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains, where habitat loss is driving rapid declines.

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi

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Yang, M.X., Wang, L.S., Miao, C.C., & Scheidegger, C. (2022). From cradle to grave? A global hotspot and new species of the genus Lobaria discovered in the Himalayas and the Hengduan Mountains. Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 48, 150–174. doi:10.3767/persoonia.2022.48.04