Autonomous University of Chiriqui
Chiriqui, Panama
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Flores R.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Black C.,Finca Las Chichicas | Ibanez A.,Jadwin Av. 108B
PhytoKeys | Year: 2017

Heliconia berguidoi (Heliconiaceae), a new species from premontane forest of eastern Panama, is described,illustrated and its conservation status evaluated. H. berguidoi bears pink flowers, an uncommon color inthis group. It differs from the Colombian species Heliconia rhodantha and Heliconia sanctae-theresae, themost similar taxa, by the combination of a petiole glabrous except for the woolly base, a very long peduncle,the perianth pubescent at the apex and staminode with cuspidate apex. H. berguidoi is also similar toHeliconia pogonantha in all four of its varieties and to Heliconia ramonensis in two of its four varieties, butdiffers by a combination of the long peduncle, pink flowers and staminode with cuspidate apex. Fifty-sixHeliconia species have been found in Panama, eighteen of them endemic. © Rodolfo Flores et al.

Prada C.M.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Morris A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Andersen K.M.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Turner B.L.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2017

Questions: Premontane tropical forests harbour exceptionally high plant species diversity; understanding which factors influence their species composition is critical to conserving them, and to predicting how global environmental change will affect them. We asked: (1) how do α- and β-diversity vary at the landscape scale; (2) how important is environmental filtering in structuring these communities; and (3) which soil and climate variables account for the most compositional variation? Location: Old-growth premontane forest, Fortuna Forest Reserve, western Panama. Methods: All trees ≥5-cm DBH were censused in 12 1-ha plots up to 13 km apart. For each plot, we measured soil properties (0-10 cm depth) at 13 locations, and estimated or measured monthly rainfall. To evaluate how the environmental and spatial variables are associated with community composition, we used ordination and Mantel tests. Results: Diversity varied nearly three-fold among plots (68-184 species·ha-1). β-Diversity was also high, with only one of 364 species present in all plots. Turnover reflected distinct forest community types that have developed on different parent materials: forests on rhyolite had an abundance of either ectomycorrhizal-associated trees or canopy palms, while forests on the other rock types (andesite, dacite and basalt) were dominated by trees that form arbuscular mycorrhizal associations. While NMDS ordination showed that species turnover was significantly correlated with rainfall seasonality, and also co-varied with geographic distance. Nonetheless, large compositional differences were apparent among sites <2 km apart with similar rainfall but differing soils. Partial Mantel tests controlling for geographic distance highlighted the relationship between total phosphorus and species composition. Conclusions: Soil nutrient availability and rainfall seasonality in premontane forests at Fortuna are associated with striking variation in the taxonomic and functional composition of nearby tree communities, and with plot differences in species richness comparable in magnitude to those reported over >1000 m a.s.l. in previous studies. Accounting for how local edaphic conditions structure premontane and montane tropical forests will be critical to predicting how tree communities will respond to climate change. © 2017 International Association for Vegetation Science.

Rodriguez Justavino D.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Kirschner R.,National Central University | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2014

Three new species of Meliolaceae, Appendiculella monsterae on Monstera deliciosa (Araceae), Asteridiella nitidae on Buddleja nitida (Scrophulariaceae), and Irenopsis chrysophylli on Chrysophyllum sp. (Sapotaceae), are described based on material collected in Panama. Eighteen species of Meliolaceae are reported for the first time for Panama, which include four first records for the Americas, viz. Ast. formosensis, Meliola indica, and M. pisoniae, previously known only from Asia, and M. dissotidis hitherto known only from Africa. Six species of plants are cited as hosts for meliolaceous fungi for the first time. In a phylogenetic hypothesis based on 28S nrDNA sequences, the position of Meliolales, including Appendiculella, Asteridiella, Endomeliola, Irenopsis, and Meliola, is found to be basal to Sordariomycetidae, Hypocreomycetidae, and Xylariomycetidae within Sordariomycetes. The five genera of Meliolaceae form a strongly supported clade. We suggest adopting the concept of the subclass Meliolomycetidae. The monophyly of Asteridiella cannot be confirmed. A hypothetical close relationship between Asteridiella and Appendiculella is not supported, but Endomeliola appears closely related to a species of Asteridiella. Two Meliola species on the same host family are closely related. © 2014, Mushroom Research Foundation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: INCO-2009-1.3 | Award Amount: 1.85M | Year: 2009

ENLACE aims at supporting the bi-regional dialogue between the EU and the Central America Countries (CAC) on S&T issues, identifying common interests in research areas, setting up S&T priorities, supporting capacity building activities, and enhancing the dialogue within the region. The planned activities are: policy dialogue meetings between EU and CA stakeholders to identify research priorities of mutual interest; training activities to set up the network of FP7 National Contact Point in Central America and an Enterprise Europe Network correspondent. In addition, the project foresees a set of activities to enhance the networking among EU and CA researchers and to raise awareness on FP7 in CA. Dissemination events from one side and travel allowances for researchers from the other side will provide concrete tools to boost the participation of CA in FP7. The consortium includes 14 multi-skilled partners, 6 from the EU and 8 from the Central America, that will ensure the fulfillment of ENLACEs objectives.

Vega A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | De Leon J.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Reyes S.M.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui
Informacion Tecnologica | Year: 2017

The main objective of this research was to determine the content of total polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidant activity of 34 commercial coffees in Panama. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it is considered to have nutraceutical properties due to its content of bioactive substances. The parameters of interest in this study were determined spectrophotometrically. Total polyphenols content of pure and mixed coffees was in the range of 28.60 to 46.82 and 11.17 to 16.10 mg of gallic acid (GAE)/g of coffee respectively. Flavonoids content was 22.16 to 38.29 and 9.36 to 14.92 mg of catechin/g of coffee respectively, and antioxidant activity was in the range of 0.11 to 0.20 and 0.025 to 0.061 mmol of trolox (TE)/g of coffee respectively. A correlation of R2 = 0.69 was found between antioxidant activity and total polyphenols for pure coffees and a correlation of R2 = 0.04 for mixed coffees. These results allow concluding that total polyphenols are substances that importantly contribute to the antioxidant capacity of coffee.

Piepenbring M.,Biologicum | Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Unterseher M.,University of Greifswald | Kost G.,University of Marburg
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

In order to document the species richness of plants and fungi in a tropical area, a trail of 500 m in tropical lowlands in the Chiriquí province, on the Pacific side of western Panama, was sampled each month during 2 years with 2 h dedicated to plants and 2 h dedicated to fungi, each by two botanists or mycologists respectively. The 24 sampling events yielded approximately 4,000 records of plants corresponding to 311 species as well as 1,614 records of fungi corresponding to approximately 567 species. Lists of more or less certain names of plants and fungi as well as voucher specimens are provided. The randomized species accumulation curve for plants approaches an asymptote and estimators yield stable values of 310-318 predicted plant species in the area of investigation. The curve for records of fungal species, however, did not saturate and all applied estimator functions failed to predict the total richness of fungi for the area convincingly. Two plant collections correspond to new records for Panama and 54 species and infraspecific taxa are new for the Chiriquí province. The identification of fungi is still in process and yielded two species probably new to science as well as 17 new records of species for Panama to date. In order to assess biodiversity patterns (e. g. fungi to plant ratios) of tropical fungi more accurately, it is necessary to repeat such investigations in other areas and to improve the tools for taxonomic identification of these highly diverse but mostly microscopic organisms. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Bader Y.M.,University of Oldenburg | Reich T.,University of Oldenburg | Wagner S.,University of Oldenburg | Steve A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Bryology | Year: 2013

Bryophyte biomass and diversity vary strongly with altitude in the tropics. Low abundance and low species numbers in lowland rain forests are most likely due to reduced diurnal activity times combined with high nocturnal respiration rates at high temperatures. This may exclude many montane species from the warm lowlands. However, an alternative hypothesis explains the observed pattern, namely a limited desiccation tolerance of montane species, precipitation being more concentrated but less frequent in most lowland forests compared to montane cloud forests. To test this hypothesis, we studied the desiccation tolerance of four montane and four lowland bryophyte species. The effects of prolonged drought were quantified with chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) and the extent of electrolyte leakage. Both montane and lowland species survived dry periods of ≥80 days, which far exceeds the duration of dry periods in the wet lowland tropics. We can thus exclude intolerance to long dry spells as an explaination for the absence of the tested montane species in the lowlands. We should continue to focus on other mechanisms to explain the altitudinal gradient of bryophyte abundance and diversity in the tropics, in order to understand this pattern, as well as to predict future trends under climatic warming. © British Bryological Society 2013.

Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Tropical Plant Pathology | Year: 2014

New records of species of Asterinaceae with intercalary appressoria infecting plants in Central America and Panama are described and illustrated in detail. New records are Asterolibertia licaniicola on the new host Licania arborea (Chrysobalanaceae), Asterolibertia nodulosa on the new hosts Oxandra venezuelana and Xylopia sp. (Annonaceae), and Cirsosia splendida on the new hosts Chrysobalanus icaco and Hirtella triandra (Chrysobalanaceae). The teleomorph C. splendida is linked for the first time to the asexual morph Homalopeltis chrysobalani based on morphological observation. For the presented fungi an identification key is provided and infection strategies are discussed. Nomenclatural novelties are introduced, Leprieuria radiata becomes a synonym of H. chrysobalani and Asterina nodulifera is recombined into Asterolibertia nodulifera. © 2014 Brazilian Phytopathological Society.

Hofmann T.A.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Mycologia | Year: 2011

Two new species of the genus Asterina are described from living leaves collected in provinces Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro in western Panama. Asterina alloplecti on Alloplectus ichtyoderma (Gesneriaceae) differs from other Asterina on Gesneriaceae by its stalked appressoria and host relationship. Asterina compsoneurae on Compsoneura sprucei (Myristicaceae) can be distinguished from other members of Asterina on Myristicaceae by its larger ascomata, larger, prominently spinose ascospores and host relationship. New records for Panama are Asterina corallopoda from a new host plant species (Solanum trizygum, Solanaceae), A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii from a new host plant species (Gonzalagunia rudis, Rubiaceae), A. siphocampyli from a new host plant genus and species (Burmeistera vulgaris, Campanulaceae) and A. styracina from a new host-plant species (Styrax argenteus, Styracaceae). This study increases the number of species of Asterina known for Panama from 12 to 19 and the number of Asterinaceae from 14 to 21. Asterina corallopoda, A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii, A. siphocampyli and A. styracina are illustrated for the first time. A phylogeny inferred from the analysis of LSU rDNA sequences of species of Asterina is presented. The diversity and host-plant patterns of known Neotropical species of Asterina are discussed. © 2011 by The Mycological Society of America.

Inacio C.A.,University of Brasilia | Arauz K.,Autonomous University of Chiriqui | Piepenbring M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
Mycological Progress | Year: 2012

During a survey of plant-parasitic microfungi in Panama, a new species in a new genus of Parmulariaceae (Ascomycota), Antoniomyces loranthicola, was found on leaves of Gaiadendron punctatum (Loranthaceae). It is described and illustrated. The new species and the new genus differ morphologically from all other known species and genera known in Parmulariaceae by deep internal stroma and superficial radiating hyphae without appressoria. © 2011 German Mycological Society and Springer.

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