Phytogeographical analysis and checklist of the vascular plants of Loango National Park, Gabon
Methods – A specimen-based botanical inventory was carried out in LNP (1005 herbarium specimens collected for this study were added to 752 existing records) and vegetation observations were made. Phytogeographical analyses were also performed using two different methods and datasets for comparison.
Key results – A preliminary checklist of 686 species of vascular plants of LNP is presented, making a significant contribution to our knowledge of the flora of Gabon with more than twenty new country records.
Conclusions –There is a surprisingly high proportion (15%) of the overall Gabonese flora recorded from within the park in this preliminary checklist. Further inventory within the park will undoubtedly produce a much higher percentage of the flora of the whole country. This high proportion is explained in part by the combination of restricted coastal endemics, diversity of habitats, and dynamic biological and physical processes. Phytogeographical analyses reveal different floristic relationships between the forest and savanna components of the flora suggesting different origins of these two biomes in coastal Gabon. The forest species are typically Guineo-Congolian in distribution and the savanna species are Sudano- Zambezian or widespread in distribution. Together, the faunal elements and the high diversity of the flora of Loango National Park make it a globally important site for conservation.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 July 2012
Plant Ecology and Evolution (a continuation of Belgian Journal of Botany, incorporating Systematics and Geography of Plants) is an international journal devoted to ecology, phylogenetics and systematics of all 'plant' groups in the traditional sense (including algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, myxomycetes), also covering related fields such as comparative and developmental morphology, conservation biology, ecophysiology, evolution, phytogeography, pollen and spores, population biology, and vegetation studies. It is published by the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium and the Botanic Garden Meise and contains original research papers, review articles, checklists, short communications and book reviews.
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