An analysis of new angiosperm species discoveries in Brazil (1990–2006)

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Abstract:

This paper uses information from the 2,875 angiosperm species described from Brazil between the years 1990 and 2006 to provide insights into the present status of botanical collections and taxonomic research in this country. The analysis shows that approximately one new species is described every two days, mostly from the Atlantic rainforest and cerrado biomes. Most species described belong to Orchidaceae (297 species), Fabaceae (288), Bromeliaceae (280), Asteraceae (166) or Poaceae (126). The average number of collections per square kilometer in Brazil is 0.59, a number well below with the ideal index of three collections per square kilometer and indicates a need for more intensive collection efforts, especially in view of the land-use pressures causing loss of vegetational types before their floristic composition is known. We conclude that reaching an adequate knowledge of the Brazilian flora is a goal that can only be achieved through intensive investment in improving scientific collections and training human resources.

Keywords: BIODIVERSITY; BRAZIL; CONSERVATION; NEW SPECIES; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Botânica UFMG, Caixa Postal 486, 31270-901—Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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