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Abstract Detail

Colloquium: The flora of Madagascar: research needs and research progress

Applequist, Wendy L. [1].

The status quo of alpha taxonomy in Malagasy Malvaceae: the example of Dombeya subsect. Longifoliae.

The genus Dombeya (Malvaceae) is most diverse in Madagascar and is an important component of the Malagasy flora. The most recent complete revisionary treatment of Malagasy Dombeya (Arènes, 1958) recognized 187 species, plus numerous subspecies and varieties; work since has been confined to the description of a few new taxa. While Arènes' complex infrageneric classification has obvious limitations, the adequacy of species delimitations and descriptions is not clear. Most Malagasy genera are underdescribed, but the dozens of taxa Arènes described from a single specimen raise the concern of overdescription resulting from inadequate material of sometimes highly variable species. The small and relatively well-defined subsect. Longifoliae (subg. Xeropetalum), characterized by a distinctive lepidote leaf indument, is treated as an example. Arènes placed seven species within this subsection, divided into three series differentiated by ovary pubescence. A new revisionary study of subsect. Longifoliae indicates that Arènes' treatment suffers simultaneously from excessively broad species concepts (e.g., for Dombeya lucida) and from the overdescription of atypical individuals; the delimitation of series is also not supported. If this group is representative, considerable alpha taxonomic work on Malagasy Dombeya is still needed.

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1 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Po Box 299, St Louis, Missouri, 63166-0299, USA


Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C1
Location: Blair B/Gage
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: C1002
Abstract ID:188

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