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Fabulous PhytoKeys New Species

This is a collection of interesting plant species described in PhytoKeys.

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  • This tiny, inch-high plant was found two years ago in northeastern Bahia, Brazil. The plant shows a particular and rare characteristic: after fruits are formed, the fruiting branches bend down, depositing the capsules with seeds on the ground (and sometimes burying them in the soft cover of moss), thereby ensuring that the seeds end up as close to the mother plant as possible, facilitating its propagation the following season. This phenomenon, called geocarpy, is a rare adaptation to growing in harsh or ephemeral environments. More information can be found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pensoft.net/news.php?n=74">here</a>.
  • The newly described species is from a group of plants commonly referred to as liverworts. This group of generally small-sized plants forms an incredibly conspicuous and significant component in New Zealand ecosystems. Based on our present knowledge, New Zealand may have almost 10% of the world's species of liverworts which are related to those that first colonized land millions of years ago. Liverworts are being increasingly recognized as important environmental indicators and as potential indicators of global warming. The new species was first discovered in Rakiura/Stewart Island, an area of high rainfall, which is particularly significant as this group of plants, together with mosses, are able to soak up water like a sponge and critical in preventing deleterious effects of high rainfall. This is the first electronically-only described liverwort species in the world. More information can be found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pensoft.net/news.php?n=107">here</a>.
  • This new wild ginger shows some similarities with <i>A. masticatorium</i>, although the two are clearly distinct. The most notable features of the plant are the presence of long ligules that reach up to 9 cm long and small flowers with a long corolla tube. Almost all parts of the plant are hairy. I was discovered in the evergreen forest of Western Silent Valley National Park in South India. It is a high altitude species (found above 1,200 m), and attempts to conserve it outside its natural locality were unsuccessful. The conservation status evaluation revealed that it falls under the critically endangered species according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature and conservation measures are to be carried out very urgently to recover the plant from extinction. More information can be found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pensoft.net/news.php?n=109">here</a>.

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