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Antananarivo, Madagascar

Darbyshire I.,Herbarium | Phillipson P.B.,Missouri Botanical Garden | Phillipson P.B.,French Natural History Museum | Rakotonasolo F.,Kew Madagascar Conservation Center
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2014

Three new species of Barleria L. (Acanthaceae) are described from the Antsiranana region of northern Madagascar: B. speciosa I. Darbysh., B. glandulostamina I. Darbysh. and B. microcalyx I. Darbysh. Two subspecies are recognised in the second of these, subsp. glandulostamina and subsp. pseudohumilis I. Darbysh. The sectional placement and species affinities of each of the new species are discussed and the conservation status of each taxon is assessed: all are considered to be globally threatened. © 2014 The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


In the second part of the taxonomic revision of Phyllanthus L. in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands the subgenera Anisonemoides (Jean F. Brunel) Ralim. & Petra Hoffm., stat. nov. and Menarda (Müll. Arg.) Ralim. & Petra Hoffm., stat. nov. are described. The subgenera are characterised by pinnatiform or bipinnatiform phyllanthoid branching, stamens are (2-4)5(-6) free or fused in Anesonemoides but 5, free stamens in Menarda; dehiscent fruits and tricolporate or trisyncolporate pollen with a macro-microreticulate exine, with muri bordering colpi, and one or two pores. they are endemic to Madagascar with most taxa being of limited geographic distribution. The subgenus Anisonemoides, stat. nov. comprises fifteen species and two species are belonging to Menarda, stat. nov. Four species from the Eastern floristic domain are newly described: Phyllanthus bemangidiensis Ralim., sp. nov., P. coodei Ralim. & Petra Hoffm., sp. nov., P. gordonii Ralim. & Petra Hoffm., sp. nov., and P. mantadiensis Ralim. & Petra Hoffm., sp. nov. Distribution maps and IUCN conservation assessment status are provided for each taxon. the circumscription of several species within Anisonemoides stat. nov. and Menarda stat. nov. has been revised. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.


Besnard G.,CNRS Biological Evolution and Diversity Laboratory | Besnard G.,University Paul Sabatier | Christin P.-A.,University of Sheffield | Male P.-J.G.,CNRS Biological Evolution and Diversity Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Botany | Year: 2013

Background and AimsAn accurate characterization of biodiversity requires analyses of DNA sequences in addition to classical morphological descriptions. New methods based on high-throughput sequencing may allow investigation of specimens with a large set of genetic markers to infer their evolutionary history. In the grass family, the phylogenetic position of the monotypic genus Lecomtella, a rare bamboo-like endemic from Madagascar, has never been appropriately evaluated. Until now its taxonomic treatment has remained controversial, indicating the need for re-evaluation based on a combination of molecular and morphological data.MethodsThe phylogenetic position of Lecomtella in Poaceae was evaluated based on sequences from the nuclear and plastid genomes generated by next-generation sequencing (NGS). In addition, a detailed morphological description of L. madagascariensis was produced, and its distribution and habit were investigated in order to assess its conservation status.Key ResultsThe complete plastid sequence, a ribosomal DNA unit and fragments of low-copy nuclear genes (phyB and ppc) were obtained. All phylogenetic analyses place Lecomtella as an isolated member of the core panicoids, which last shared a common ancestor with other species >20 million years ago. Although Lecomtella exhibits morphological characters typical of Panicoideae, an unusual combination of traits supports its treatment as a separate group. Conclusions The study showed that NGS can be used to generate abundant phylogenetic information rapidly, opening new avenues for grass phylogenetics. These data clearly showed that Lecomtella forms an isolated lineage, which, in combination with its morphological peculiarities, justifies its treatment as a separate tribe: Lecomtelleae. New descriptions of the tribe, genus and species are presented with a typification, a distribution map and an IUCN conservation assessment. © 2013 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved.


Rakotoarinivo M.,Kew Madagascar Conservation Center | Blach-Overgaard A.,University of Aarhus | Baker W.J.,Royal Botanic Gardens | Dransfield J.,Royal Botanic Gardens | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The distribution of rainforest in many regions across the Earth was strongly affected by Pleistocene ice ages. However, the extent to which these dynamics are still important for modern-day biodiversity patterns within tropical biodiversity hotspots has not been assessed. We employ a comprehensive dataset ofMadagascan palms (Arecaceae) and climate reconstructions from the last glacial maximum (LGM; 21 000 years ago) to assess the relative role of modern environment and LGMclimate in explaining geographical species richness patterns in this major tropical biodiversity hotspot. We found that palaeoclimate exerted a strong influence on palmspecies richness patterns,with richness peaking in areas with higher LGM precipitation relative to present-day even after controlling for modern environment, in particular in northeasternMadagascar, consistent with the persistence of tropical rainforest during the LGM primarily in this region.Our results provide evidence that diversity patterns in theWorld's most biodiverse regions may be shaped by long-term climate history as well as contemporary environment. & 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Rakotoarinivo M.,Kew Madagascar Conservation Center
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

The distribution of rainforest in many regions across the Earth was strongly affected by Pleistocene ice ages. However, the extent to which these dynamics are still important for modern-day biodiversity patterns within tropical biodiversity hotspots has not been assessed. We employ a comprehensive dataset of Madagascan palms (Arecaceae) and climate reconstructions from the last glacial maximum (LGM; 21 000 years ago) to assess the relative role of modern environment and LGM climate in explaining geographical species richness patterns in this major tropical biodiversity hotspot. We found that palaeoclimate exerted a strong influence on palm species richness patterns, with richness peaking in areas with higher LGM precipitation relative to present-day even after controlling for modern environment, in particular in northeastern Madagascar, consistent with the persistence of tropical rainforest during the LGM primarily in this region. Our results provide evidence that diversity patterns in the World's most biodiverse regions may be shaped by long-term climate history as well as contemporary environment.

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