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 Jardin Botanico de Madrid, Universidad Mayor de San Andres and Museo de Historia Natural.
NOTE: Digital images available by request. Download media materials at www.mobot.org/press.
Julie Bierach | EurekAlert!
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel
The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering