"It's hard to find new species now in Spain. It depends on the complexity of the group of plants you study", Antonio Galán de Mera, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Biology (Botany) at the San Pablo-CEU University in Madrid, tells SINC.
This is one of the new plants of the Taraxacum genus. Credit: Galán de Mera
According to the study, which has been published in Annales Botanici Fennici, it has been no easy task to identify these two new plants. "We had to compare them with numerous examples from Europe (above all in Spain and Portugal), which were lent to us from the collections of other colleagues", says Galán de Mera.
Taraxacum decastroi and Taraxacum lacianense are plants with long leaves and little pollen, because they reproduce by means of seeds without fertilisation. They also have "fairly characteristic" fruits with little ornamentation, "which differentiates them from other species in the Peninsula", the scientist adds.
T. decastroi, which takes its name from the naturalist Emilio de Castro y Pérez de Castro, is a plant from the Pyrenees fir forests of Lérida, while T. lacianense, first spotted by José Alfredo Vicente Orellana, grows in the birch woods of the Montes de León mountains, specifically in the area of Laciana. Both plants live in moist environments and face certain threats.
"Taraxacum lacianense lives in environments that are very vulnerable to becoming dried out. In addition, the bogland in which it grows is in the birch woods of the Montes de León, which are seriously threatened by open cast coal mining", the biologist explains.
New plants, greater biodiversity
The description of Taraxacum decastroi and Taraxacum lacianense represent two new additions to the floral biodiversity of the Iberian Peninsula, and they go to join more than 50 other species within the Taraxacum genus on the Iberian Peninsula. Both species are related to Taraxacum reophilum of the Alps.
In Spain, "it is impossible to pinpoint" the number of new plants that still remain to be discovered "although genus studies can always throw up surprises", says the researcher, who is currently studying another "probable" new species in the province of Madrid related with a forest group. The team has also found another in Portugal, Segovia and Asturias.
The two new species will be included in the chapter on the Taraxacum genus in the work Flora Ibérica, which has been published by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 1986. The Botany Department of the San Pablo-CEU University collaborates on this initiative by means of its herbarium, which conserves plants from the Iberian Peninsula and South America.
Galán de Mera, Antonio; Vicente Orellana, José Alfredo. "Taraxacum decastroi and T-lacianense (Asteraceae), two new species from the Iberian Peninsula". Annales Botanici Fennici 47(4): 307-311, 2010.
SINC | EurekAlert!
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research