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1. Gahagen, Benjamin A. A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae).

Degree: PhD, Plant Biology (Arts and Sciences), 2015, Ohio University

<i>Tovomita</i> Aubl. is a small genus of trees, shrubs, and hemi-epiphytes distributed in Central America, the West Indies, northern South America, and the Atlantic Coast of Brazil. Species in <i>Tovomita</i> are distinguished from other genera in Clusiaceae by exhibiting sepals that completely envelope the bud, sympodial branching, evident styles and stylodia, and a vascularized arilloid structure covering the seed. Little is known about the foliar micromorphology and anatomy of <i>Tovomita</i>. The genus was last revised in 1892 by Julian Vesque, who described and provided a key for 36 species. Several species have been recognized since that time. The primary aim of this research project was to conduct systematic studies resulting in a taxonomic revision of the genus <i>Tovomita</i>. The systematic studies encompassed a range of methods and diverse objectives. One objective was a phenetic investigation of the large <i>Tovomita weddelliana</i> species complex using traits from herbarium specimens, analyzed with univariate and multivariate approaches. Analyses resulted in the resurrection of several species names and description of five new species. Other objectives examined leaf anatomy and micromorphology. Foliar micromorphology and petiole vasculature of several <i>Tovomita</i> species was also examined. Comparative analysis of stomatal and epidermal cell characteristics, in addition to variations in petiole vasculature patterns, showed taxonomic value in distinguishing individual species and larger species groups. These foliar characteristics appear to reflect the evolutionary history of the genus and may provide insights into phylogenetic groups in <i>Tovomita</i>. Future studies in <i>Tovomita</i> should focus on defining other micromorphological and anatomical characters to use for species circumscriptionand phylogenetic inference. The cumulative results of systematic investigations of <i>Tovomita</i> were applied to a monographic revision of the genus in two parts, one on Central American taxa and the other on South American taxa. Hundreds of herbarium specimens were examined, and treatments were produced, complete with keys, typifications and synonymy, and descriptions. Advisors/Committee Members: Ballard, Harvey (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Plant Biology; Clusiaceae; micromorphology; stomata; Tovomita

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APA (6th Edition):

Gahagen, B. A. (2015). A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae). (Doctoral Dissertation). Ohio University. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Gahagen, Benjamin A. “A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae).” 2015. Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio University. Accessed September 23, 2020.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Gahagen, Benjamin A. “A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae).” 2015. Web. 23 Sep 2020.


Gahagen BA. A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae). [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Ohio University; 2015. [cited 2020 Sep 23]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Gahagen BA. A Taxonomic Revision of <i>Tovomita</i> (Clusiaceae). [Doctoral Dissertation]. Ohio University; 2015. Available from: