Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Missouri Botanical Garden researchers discover 8 new species in Boliva national parks

Botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden have described eight new plant species collected in the Madidi National Park and surrounding areas located on the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Bolivia. The new species are from several different genera and families and are published in a recent edition of the Missouri Botanical Garden journal Novon.

Missouri Botanical Garden scientists and colleagues from the National Herbarium in La Paz, Bolivia describe Prestonia leco, Passiflora madidiana, Siphoneugena minima, Siphoneugena glabrata, Hydrocotyle apolobambensis, Weberbauerocereus madidiensis, Styloceras connatum and Meriania horrida.

All but one species, Siphoneugena glabrata, were collected as part of Proyecto Madidi (Project Madidi), a ten-year effort to inventory plant species in the National Park, educate graduate students and conduct an ecological inventory of the national park. The new species will be made available for incorporation in the upcoming Bolivian catalog of vascular plants.

Some of the new species are only found in very specific areas of the National Park and surrounding areas and have been assigned a provisional conservation status of Vulnerable following the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines. Others are more broadly distributed and clearly indicate that more is to be found. Dr. Peter Jørgensen, associate curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden considers the threat to the species to be limited if the protected areas are respected, but several places within the region are at risk of fragmentation as a result of the construction of new roads and the increase in cattle and farming activities.

"Before we started this project in 2000, this botanically rich area was essentially a white area on the map, almost unexplored," said Jørgensen. "There has been very little general collecting in this area. Over the course of a decade we have documented more than 7,000 species, which is about a third of what you can find in North America."

Since the start of the Madidi Project, botanists have identified about 132 new species; 32 of which have been published. Eighteen species are currently in preparation for publication and the remaining need additional collections and documentation. The study area in the project encompasses 110,000 kilometers and includes three protected areas: the Madidi National Park, Pilón Lajas and Apolobamba. Ranging from the glacier-covered peaks of the high Andes Mountains to the tropical rainforests of the Tuichi River, Madidi is recognized as one of the world's most biologically diverse regions.

With scientists working on six continents in 38 countries around the globe, the Garden has one of the three largest plant science programs in the world, along with The New York Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (outside London). The Garden focuses its work on areas that are rich in biodiversity yet threatened by habitat destruction, and operates the world's most active research and training program in tropical botany. Scientific study at the Garden focuses on the exploration of selected tropical regions, which encompass Earth's least known, most diverse, and most rapidly vanishing ecosystems. Because of the speed with which irreversible changes occur in tropical regions, the Garden has made a long-term commitment and assumed a leadership role in the study and conservation of these imperiled habitats.

The Madidi Project is made possible through grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, The Davidson Family, Taylor Gift, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Comunidad de Madrid, Spain. The Garden partners with the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid, Universidad Mayor de San Andres and Museo de Historia Natural.

NOTE: Digital images available by request. Download media materials at

Julie Bierach | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>