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  1. Summary Recent molecular phylogenetic results have demonstrated that Monechma s.l., a group of plants with ecological importance in the savanna and succulent biomes of sub-Saharan Africa, is polyphyletic with two discrete lineages recognisable. In the present work, we recognise Monechma Groups I and II at the generic rank, which can be distinguished by differences in inflorescence characteristics and seed morphology. The nomenclatural implications of these findings are investigated. The lectotype of Monechma , M. bracteatum Hochst., is a part of a small lineage of plants closely allied to Justicia L. sect. Harnieria (Solms) Benth. for which the earliest valid name is found to be Meiosperma Raf. Hence, Monechma is synonymised within Meiosperma , which comprises six accepted species and two undescribed taxa. The majority of species of former Monechma s.l. are resolved within the second lineage for which the only validly published generic name is Pogonospermum Hochst. This resurrected genus comprises 34 accepted species plus two undescribed taxa. Pogonospermum displays considerable morphological variation and is here subdivided into six sections based primarily on differences in plant habit, inflorescence form, calyx, bract and bracteole venation, and seed indumentum. The new combinations and new sections are validated, and seven accepted species names are lectotypified. 
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  2. Abstract

    Carbon‐concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) are a widespread phenomenon in photosynthetic organisms. In vascular plants, the evolution of CCMs ([C44‐carbon compound] and crassulacean acid metabolism [CAM]) is associated with significant shifts, most often to hot, dry and bright, or aquatic environments. If and how CCMs drive distributions of other terrestrial photosynthetic organisms, remains little studied. Lichens are ecologically important obligate symbioses between fungi and photosynthetic organisms. The primary photosynthetic partner in these symbioses can include CCM‐presenting cyanobacteria (as carboxysomes), CCM‐presenting green algae (as pyrenoids) or green algae lacking any CCM. We use an extensive dataset of lichen communities from eastern North America, spanning a wide climatic range, to test the importance of CCMs as predictors of lichen ecology and distribution. We show that the presence or absence of CCMs leads to opposite responses to temperature and precipitation in green algal lichens, and different responses in cyanobacterial lichens. These responses contrast with our understanding of lichen physiology, whereby CCMs mitigate carbon limitation by water saturation at the cost of efficient use of vapor hydration. This study demonstrates that CCM status is a key functional trait in obligate lichen symbioses, equivalent in importance to its role in vascular plants, and central for studying present and future climate responses.

     
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  3. Premise

    Apetaly is widespread across distantly related lineages of flowering plants and is associated with abiotic (or self‐) pollination. It is particularly prevalent in the carnation family, and the cosmopolitan genusStellariacontains many lineages that are hypothesized to have lost petals from showy petalous ancestors. But the pollination biology of apetalous species ofStellariaremains unclear.

    Methods

    Using a substantial species‐level sampling (~92% of known taxonomic diversity), we describe the pattern of petal evolution withinStellariausing ancestral character state reconstructions. To help shed light on the reproductive biology of apetalousStellaria, we conducted a field experiment at an alpine tundra site in the southern Rocky Mountains to test whether an apetalous species (S. irrigua) exhibits higher levels of selfing than a sympatric, showy petalous congener (S. longipes).

    Results

    Analyses indicated that the ancestor ofStellariawas likely showy petalous and that repeated, parallel reductions of petals occurred in clades across much of the world, with uncommon reversal back to showy petals. Field experiments supported high rates of selfing in the apetalous species and high rates of outcrossing in the petalous species.

    Conclusions

    Petal loss is rampant across major clades ofStellariaand is potentially linked with self‐pollination worldwide. Self‐pollination occurs within the buds inS. irrigua, and high propensities for this and other forms of selfing known in many other taxa of arctic‐alpine habitats may reflect erratic availability of pollinators.

     
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