Species Delimitation Within the Bouteloua Gracilis-B. Hirsuta-B. Pectinata Complex
Finley, Willa Faye
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Bouteloua gracilis. B. hirsuta, and B. pectinata were examined for evidence of present hybridization based on presence of "intermediate" populations occurring in the vicinity of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. To establish the nature of the relationships more clearly, flavonoid extracts of members in question were chromatographed and a series of morphological characters were measured and analyzed using multivariate techniques. No evidence for on-going hybridization was obtained; however, ancient hybridization between B. pectinata and B. gracilis may account for the morphological traits of "intermediate" populations. Commonly used dichotomous keys used to distinguish among the three species were found to be inadequate. A more workable alternative was presented.