"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!
A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
20.08.2018 | Information Technology
20.08.2018 | Life Sciences
20.08.2018 | Information Technology