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Akopian J.,Armenian National Academy of Sciences | Sarukhanyan N.,Green Lane Agricultural Assistance NGO | Gabrielyan I.,Armenian National Academy of Sciences | Vanyan A.,Green Lane Agricultural Assistance NGO | And 7 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2010

Vavilovia (Vavilovia Fed.) is one of the five genera in tribe Fabeae and consists of only one species, 'beautiful' vavilovia (Vavilovia formosa (Stev.) Fed.). The main centre of distribution is the Central and Eastern Caucasus, with a disjunct distribution among high alpine areas in the region, extending as far as West Turkey, Lebanon and Iran. In Armenia, in situ studies on Vavilovia started in the late 1930s. In July and August 2009, three expeditions were conducted to two locations: two to the Ughtasar Mountain and one to the Geghama Mountains. The first expedition to Ughtasar resulted in fresh plant collections and soil analysis for one of the sites. The expedition to Geghama established the existence of Vavilovia in the region of Lake Aknalitch. The second expedition to Ughtasar provided immature fruits and seeds. Collected plant material was transplanted into the Flora and Vegetation of Armenia plot of the Yerevan Botanic Garden established in 1940. Today, along with other plants the plot contains more than 200 species of wild relatives of cultural plants from 130 genera, including indiginous species of tribe Fabeae such as Vavilovia. The transplanted plants will continue to be monitored to see if the plants go on to successfully flower and set seed or whether further sites, possibly at higher altitudes might need to be tested to meet the long term conservation requirements of this iconic legume. These co-ordinated efforts provide a good example of an ex situ conservation strategy for Vavilovia formosa, which, if successful will improve access and utility for the whole legume research community. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Slik J.W.F.,University of Brunei Darussalam | Arroyo-Rodriguez V.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Aiba S.-I.,Kagoshima University | Alvarez-Loayza P.,Duke University | And 175 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

The high species richness of tropical forests has long been recognized, yet there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the actual number of tropical tree species. Using a pantropical tree inventory database from closed canopy forests, consisting of 657,630 trees belonging to 11,371 species, we use a fitted value of Fisher's alpha and an approximate pantropical stem total to estimate the minimum number of tropical forest tree species to fall between ∼40,000 and ∼53,000, i.e., at the high end of previous estimates. Contrary to common assumption, the Indo-Pacific region was found to be as species-rich as the Neotropics, with both regions having a minimum of ∼19,000-25,000 tree species. Continental Africa is relatively depauperate with a minimum of ∼4,500-6,000 tree species. Very few species are shared among the African, American, and the Indo-Pacific regions. We provide a methodological framework for estimating species richness in trees that may help refine species richness estimates of tree-dependent taxa. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Mikic A.,Serbian Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops | Smykal P.,Palacky University | Kenicer G.,Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh | Vishnyakova M.,Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 18 more authors.
Planta | Year: 2014

Main conclusion: Vavilovia formosa(Stev.) Fed. is a scientifically valuable common ancestor of the plant tribe Fabeae and also important in breeding and agronomy studies of the cultivated Fabeae, but it is close to extinction. A concerted academic and geovernmental effort is needed to save it.Abstract: Since 2007, an informal international group of researchers on legumes has been working to increase awareness of Vavilovia formosa (Stev.) Fed., a relict and endangered wild-land relative to crop plant species. A majority of the modern botanical classifications place it within the tribe Fabeae, together with the genera vetchling (Lathyrus L.), lentil (Lens Mill.), pea (Pisum L.) and vetch (Vicia L.). V. formosa is encountered at altitudes from 1,500 m up to 3,500 m in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Russia, Syria and Turkey. This species may be of extraordinary importance for broadening current scientific knowledge on legume evolution and taxonomy because of its proximity to the hypothetical common ancestor of the tribe Fabeae, as well as for breeding and agronomy of the cultivated Fabeae species due to its perenniality and stress resistance. All this may be feasible only if a concerted and long-term conservation strategy is established and carried out by both academic and geovernmental authorities. The existing populations of V. formosa are in serious danger of extinction. The main threats are domestic and wild animal grazing, foraging, and early frosts in late summer. A long-term strategy to save V. formosa from extinction and to sustain its use in both basic and applied research comprises much improved in situ preservation, greater efforts for an ex situ conservation, and novel approaches of in vitro propagation. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


PubMed | National University of Colombia, Brown University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Instituto Federal do Espirito Santo and 110 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

The high species richness of tropical forests has long been recognized, yet there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the actual number of tropical tree species. Using a pantropical tree inventory database from closed canopy forests, consisting of 657,630 trees belonging to 11,371 species, we use a fitted value of Fishers alpha and an approximate pantropical stem total to estimate the minimum number of tropical forest tree species to fall between 40,000 and 53,000, i.e., at the high end of previous estimates. Contrary to common assumption, the Indo-Pacific region was found to be as species-rich as the Neotropics, with both regions having a minimum of 19,000-25,000 tree species. Continental Africa is relatively depauperate with a minimum of 4,500-6,000 tree species. Very few species are shared among the African, American, and the Indo-Pacific regions. We provide a methodological framework for estimating species richness in trees that may help refine species richness estimates of tree-dependent taxa.


Laenen B.,University of Liège | Laenen B.,University of Zürich | Shaw B.,Duke University | Schneider H.,Natural History Museum in London | And 20 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Unraveling the macroevolutionary history of bryophytes, which arose soon after the origin of land plants but exhibit substantially lower species richness than the more recently derived angiosperms, has been challenged by the scarce fossil record. Here we demonstrate that overall estimates of net species diversification are approximately half those reported in ferns and ∼30% those described for angiosperms. Nevertheless, statistical rate analyses on time-calibrated large-scale phylogenies reveal that mosses and liverworts underwent bursts of diversification since the mid-Mesozoic. The diversification rates further increase in specific lineages towards the Cenozoic to reach, in the most recently derived lineages, values that are comparable to those reported in angiosperms. This suggests that low diversification rates do not fully account for current patterns of bryophyte species richness, and we hypothesize that, as in gymnosperms, the low extant bryophyte species richness also results from massive extinctions. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Museum National d Histoire Naturelle, Natural History Museum in London, Montpellier University, University of Algarve and 10 more.
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2014

Unraveling the macroevolutionary history of bryophytes, which arose soon after the origin of land plants but exhibit substantially lower species richness than the more recently derived angiosperms, has been challenged by the scarce fossil record. Here we demonstrate that overall estimates of net species diversification are approximately half those reported in ferns and 30% those described for angiosperms. Nevertheless, statistical rate analyses on time-calibrated large-scale phylogenies reveal that mosses and liverworts underwent bursts of diversification since the mid-Mesozoic. The diversification rates further increase in specific lineages towards the Cenozoic to reach, in the most recently derived lineages, values that are comparable to those reported in angiosperms. This suggests that low diversification rates do not fully account for current patterns of bryophyte species richness, and we hypothesize that, as in gymnosperms, the low extant bryophyte species richness also results from massive extinctions.

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