Pedro A. González Gutiérrez
The major objective of the project was to carry out field work necessary to collect and photograph Cuban species of Byrsonima and Malpighia, and to obtain fresh material for future molecular studies. The herbarium specimens and photographs will be used to assess the morphological variation of the taxa, which, along with data obtained from phylogenetic analyses, will form the basis for discerning relationships and species boundaries, and the possible occurrence of hybridization.
During the years 2014 and 2015, 25 Cuban localities were visited in order
to find and collect Cuban species of Byrsonima and Malpighia. In the visited
localities the author had the possibility to collect in different units of
vegetation such as: rain forest, pine forest, thorny and subthorny xeromorphic
thickets on serpentines and coastal xeromorphic thickets. Most of Cuban
species of Byrsonima and Malpighia inhabit these types of vegetation.
In some cases was necessary to visit the same locality in more than one occasion due to reasons such as: the species were not found in a first opportunity, or the species were found sterile.
The list of visited localities is offered as follows:
The transportation to all these localities represented ca. 2500 Kms traveled.
On the other hand it was also possible to visit 4 Cuban herbaria and review
their collections. The herbaria visited were: the herbarium of the National
Botanical Garden of Cuba (HAJB), the herbarium of the Institute of Ecology
and Systematic of Cuba (HAC), the herbarium of the Institute of Environmental
Studies of Camagüey (HACC) and the herbarium of the Botanical Garden of Las Tunas (HMC).
The funds received from IAPT in 2014 were spent to pay transportation (about 70%) and the resting ca. 30% were used to pay lodging and food.
About 100 specimens of ca. 50 species of Byrsonima, Malpighia and representatives
of other genera of Malpighiaceae were collected.
A list of the species collected is presented below:
The field work allowed to collect species, which were only known through
type or sterile specimens such as: Byrsonima moensis, Malpighia capitis-crucis,
Malpighia flavescens, Malpighia phillyreifolia and Malpighia tunensis, etc.
Most of plants were found with flowers and fruits and it made possible to complete the descriptions of some species based on sterile or partially sterile specimens published by Meyer (2000) such as Malpighia flavescens and Malpighia phillyreifolia.
Some species such as Malpighia suberosa were collected in several localities, showing the variability of this species in its wide distribution area in Cuba.
It was possible to see flowers of living plants of Byrsonima motembensis, which colour is intermediate between the pink flowers of Byrsonima lucida and the yellow flowers of Byrsonima crassifolia suggesting that Byrsonima motembensis is probably a hybrid between these two species.
On the other hand the field work allowed to find and describe a new species of the genus Malpighia, Malpighia meyeriana P. A. González:
Of all specimens collected, samples of young and healthy leaves were preserved in silica gel to be used in future phylogenetic studies.
The results obtained during the field work will allow completing the taxonomic treatment of the family Malpighiaceae for the Flora of Cuba.
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