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Journal of Plant Sciences
  Year: 2014 | Volume: 9 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 25-31
DOI: 10.3923/jps.2014.25.31
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Numerical Taxonomy of Combretum Loefl. from Southeastern Nigeria

C. Ekeke, I.O. Agbagwa and B.E. Okoli

Numerical taxonomic study of eleven Combretum Loefl. species common in southeastern Nigeria was carried out based on morphological and anatomical characters. PAST software was used to calculate the Euclidean distances and the coefficients were clustered by unweighted pair-group clustering method (UPGCM). From the 107 characters employed in the numerical analysis, the species were separated into two broad clusters (C1 represented by C. zenkeri and C2-the remaining 10 species). The clustering further suggested that there were groups within the genus hence C2 separated into two subgroups with C. glutinosum, a lone sub-cluster and the other nine species, which separated into four other sub-clusters. The similarity coefficient among the Combretum species studied ranged from 4.69 between C. mooreanum and C. bracteatum to 8.72 between C. glutinosum and C. zenkeri. Generally, results obtained favour species arrangement and clustering based on phylogenetic relationship as in C. mooreanum, C. bracteatum and C. platypterum and habitat preference. The unknown species, Combretum sp.1 is more closely related to C. bracteatum than any other species studied. However, C. constrictum, C. dolichopetalum, C. glutinosum, C. hispidum, C. paniculatum, C. platypterum, C. racemosum and C. zenkeri have been confirmed as individual taxa based on previous classifications. Though each Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) is confirmed species, we assert that the closeness observed amongst the OTUs imply that introgression as a mechanism of speciation in the wild, is at play in the genus.
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How to cite this article:

C. Ekeke, I.O. Agbagwa and B.E. Okoli, 2014. Numerical Taxonomy of Combretum Loefl. from Southeastern Nigeria. Journal of Plant Sciences, 9: 25-31.

DOI: 10.3923/jps.2014.25.31






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