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This well-supported clade comprises two out of three species of the Madeiran endemic Musschia (Menezes & al. 2007), and four of Campanula, namely C. axillaris, C. lactiflora, C. peregrina, and C. primulifolia. This so-called "Musschia clade" was early depicted by Eddie & al. (2003), and includes here one additional species endemic to Turkey (C. axillaris). Our petD data strongly favor sister relationships between C. axillaris and C. peregrina on the one hand, and between C. primulifolia and Musschia, on the other. The latter relationship is congruent with the trnLF signal (Roquet & al. 2008), and depict interesting geographical links between the eastern and western Euro-Mediterranean area. Dating analyses further suggest that the estimated time of divergence between C. primulifolia and Musschia (c. 9 Ma [2.82–11.82]) overlaps with the time span of the volcanic island archipelago emergence, starting c. 15 Ma (Fernandez-Palacios & al. 2011), and possibly favors a neoendemic origin for Musschia (Mansion & al. 2009). Interestingly, despite the acquisition of striking new vegetative and floral features in the insular neoendemic (Bramwell 1972), the single dispersal of Musschia common ancestor was not followed by episodes of intensive diversification, as often observed in volcanic islands (Carine 2005). Alternatively, potential episodes of extinctions could have erased an early occurring radiation in Musschia.

From a taxonomic point of view, our data do not support the inclusion of both C. peregrina and C. primulifolia in Echinocodonia, as suggested by Kolakovskii (1994). Furthermore, karylogical evidence also contradicts such a combination, with C. peregrina having n= 13 and C. primulifolia, n= 18. Overall, the great morphological and cytological diversity (C. lactiflora: n =17, 18; Musschia aurea: n= 16) found in this geographically widespread clade, with overall rather low diversification on oceanic islands, could suggest active episodes of extinction during the last ten million years. More detailed analyses, using likelihood-based biogeographic methods (Ree & Smith 2008) and lineage through time inference should be performed to test such hypotheses.

From: Mansion & al. (2012: 11)


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