(ST. LOUIS): Botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden have described eight new plant species collected in the Madidi National Park and surrounding areas located on the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Bolivia. The new species are from several different genera and families and are published in a recent edition of the Missouri Botanical Garden journal Novon.
Missouri Botanical Garden scientists and colleagues from the National Herbarium in La Paz, Bolivia describe Prestonia leco, Passiflora madidiana, Siphoneugena minima, Siphoneugena glabrata, Hydrocotyle apolobambensis, Weberbauerocereus madidiensis, Styloceras connatum and Meriania horrida. All but one species, Siphoneugena glabrata, were collected as part of Proyecto Madidi (Project Madidi), a ten-year effort to inventory plant species in the National Park, educate graduate students and conduct an ecological inventory of the national park. The new species will be made available for incorporation in the upcoming Bolivian catalog of vascular plants.
Some of the new species are only found in very specific areas of the National Park and surrounding areas and have been assigned a provisional conservation status of Vulnerable following the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines. Others are more broadly distributed and clearly indicate that more is to be found. Dr. Peter Jrgensen, associate curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden considers the threat to the species to be limited if the protected areas are respected, but several places within the region are at risk of fragmentation as a result of the construction of new roads and the increase in cattle and farming activities.
"Before we started this project in 2000, this botanically rich area was essentially a white area on the map, almost unexplored," said Jrgensen. "There has been very little general collecting in this area. Over the course of a decade we have documented mo
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Missouri Botanical Garden