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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Snow, Neil [1], Byng, James [2], Callmander, Martin [3].

Twelve more new species of Eugenia L. (Myrtaceae) from Madagascar illuminate emerging distributional patterns and highlight an urgent need for conservation.

Madagascar has extraordinary levels of biodiversity and among the highest known levels of endemism. Discoveries of botanical diversity continue steadily in several plant families as a consequence of recent collections and from renewed study of collections made over the previous 25 years. Basic taxonomic research in Malagasy Eugenia L. (Myrtaceae) was nonexistent from 1953 to 2002, when James Miller (MO) described two new species. Subsequently, an additional 25 new species, including the twelve proposed here, have been recoginzed. The current total for Madagascar is 59 endemic species of Eugenia, with 1 or 2 naturalized. Although most of the proposed novelties are known from less than five collections, and in many cases from only one or two collections, some general ecological and distributional patterns of Eugenia on Madagascar are beginning to emerge. First, with perhaps one exception, Malagasy Eugenia are not ecologically dominant, although species occasionally are locally common. Second, moderate levels of diversity occur in relatively localized areas. Third, most Eugenia occur on or near the eastern escarpment in relatively undisturbed humid forests, or in lowlands on or near eastern coastal areas. Fourth, no species of Eugenia is widespread across Madagascar, which contrasts with a few species of Syzygium Gaertn., the other genus of Myrtaceae native to Madagascar. Fifth, cauliflory (flowers on stems) and ramiflory (flowers on naked branchlets) are not uncommon and likely reflect local selective pressures. Sixth, selection seems to have favored species with whitish, cream-colored, or pinkish-magenta petals. Seventh, most new species should be considered Threatened, Endangered, or Critically Endangered following IUCN Categories and Criteria. Eighth, all native Malagasy species of Eugenia also are endemic. Ninth, many infraspecific names proposed by Perrier were illegitimate, although many of these taxa appear to warrant recognition. Tenth, another ten or more species beyond those presented here await description. In summary, while significant progress is being made on the alpha taxonomy of Eugenia and our knowledge of its geographical and ecological distributions, a highly desirable comprehensive taxonomic revision for the genus in Madagascar will require significant additional field and herbarium studies over at least a decade.

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1 - Pittsburg State University, Biology, 1701 S. Brodway, Pittsburg, KS, 66762-7552, USA
2 - Plant Gateway, 5 Talbot Street, Hertford, SG13 7BX, UK
3 - Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO, 63166-0299, USA

new species

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY020
Abstract ID:258
Candidate for Awards:None

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