Authors: Smith, James F.; Sytsma, Kenneth J.
Publication: Plant Systematics and Evolution
Year: 1994
Genera: Columnea

The cladistic analysis and comparison of molecular and morphological data has been the source of much recent debate. In this study, independent analyses of molecular and morphological data from Columnea L. sects. Pentadenia and Stygnanthe (Gesneriaceae) are compared. Comparative methods include consensus, visually comparing trees from independent analyses and combined data analysis. Consensus methods provided little resolution. Comparison of trees obtained from the independent analyses revealed some differences although the trees are highly similar. However, a combined analysis found that the level of incongruence between the two data sets was low. The tree resulting from the combined data has aspects of both the morphological and molecular trees despite the larger number of molecular characters. In addition, the combined data tree has greater resolution than either of the two data sets singly, indicating that the two types of data are congruent, and complementary to each other.