15251

Aceraceae
Sapindales

Maple Family

APG II submerges both Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae as synonyms of Sapindaceae. Stevens (APG website) cites an abstract (Li, et al., 2006a) in support of synonymizing Aceraceae within Sapindaceae. This abstract appears to be based on the same data later published by Li et al. (2006b).
Li et al. (2006b) used two chloroplast non-coding regions, psbM-trnD and trnD-trnT. In their analyses, Xanthoceras, traditionally placed in Sapindaceae, was a sister taxon to a clade that included a monophyletic Aceraceae and monophyletic Hippocastanaceae. Thus, according to this preliminary analysis, if Xanthoceras is included in Sapindaceae, Sapindaceae is rendered paraphyletic if either Aceraceae or Hippocastanaceae are recognized. However, this is not the end of the story.
Gadek et al. (1996) used chloroplast rbcL in an analysis that included taxa relevant to Sapindaceae. Based on very limited sampling, they found a monophyletic Aceraceae and a monophyletic Hippocastanaceae. They did not sample Xanthoceras, thus leaving open the question of the paraphyly of Sapindaceae.
Harrington et al. (2005), based on rbcL and matK, found that Xanthoceras was placed within the traditional Sapindaceae. However, the anomalous Chinese endemic Handeliodendron, placed in Sapindaceae by Rehder, was found to be nested within the Hipoocastanaceae clade as a sister taxon to Aesculus. Handeliodendron has deciduous, opposite, palmately compound leaves, as in Aesculus. Based on this, we (the YYPG) continued to recognize Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae as separate from Sapindaceae, but placed Handeliodendron (which see) in Hippocastanaceae (YYPG, 2006).
Recently in the Flora of China, Handeliodendron was placed in Hippocastanaceae (Nianhe Xia, Nicholas J. Turland & Paul A. Gadek, 2007).
The premature lumping of Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae into Sapindaceae by APG II is regrettable, an example of basing classification on preliminary unstable phylogenies with poor sampling of taxa. Lumping these taxa accomplishes nothing other than creating confusion when dealing with the MASSIVE taxonomic and ecological literature over the last century in which these families are recognized.
TAMU Image Gallery Gerald Carr images GOOGLE


179 IMAGES FOUND AT PLANTSYSTEMATICS.ORG: IMAGES 1 - 179:
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Acer campbellii
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Acer campbellii
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Acer campbellii
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Acer capillipes
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Acer grandidentatum
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Acer pseudosieboldianum
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Acer pseudosieboldianum
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Acer spicatum
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Acer ukurunduense
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Acer ukurunduense
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Dipteronia
NUMBER OF GENERA IN Aceraceae: 2  KEW LIST: Aceraceae
Acer 176 Dipteronia 3


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