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Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia yield 18 new species of rare ferns and flowering plants
Date:7/19/2011

aii, Washington DC, Paris, and elsewhere for study by botanical specialists. Ferns comprise an important element of the Marquesas flora, and 11 of the 18 new species are ferns. In addition, the botanists collected numerous new island records for native species and documented non-native, potentially weedy species that comprise about half of the islands' flora.

As this project clearly shows, the biodiversity of many tropical islands is still poorly documented and explored. Field work and biological inventories of this type are essential to enhance our knowledge of insular biodiversity and provide critical information for conservation of these organisms and their habitats. However, staffing and funding for this type of work are scarce. Results of this project are available on an Internet-based resource hosted on the Smithsonian's Department of Botany website, which provides access to a database with species descriptions, photos, distribution, literature, specimens lists, and other information: http://botany.si.edu/pacificislandbiodiversity/marquesasflora/index.htm.

The final goal of this project is publication of a comprehensive two-volume book covering the Vascular Flora of the Marquesas Islands, a goal which is nearing completion with the publication of these new species.


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Contact: Dr. David H. Lorence
lorence@ntbg.org
808-332-7324 x223
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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