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Plant Ecology and Evolution

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Plant Ecology and Evolution
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page 1
Running title:

M. Soares, J. Abreu, P. Silveira, B. Schrire & E. Figueiredo, The Leguminosae of Angola

The Leguminosae of Angola: diversity and endemism
Miguel Soares1, Joana Abreu1, Paulo Silveira2, Brian Schrire 3 & Estrela Figueiredo1,4,*
1 Herbário, Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Trav. Cde da Ribeira 9, PT-1300-142 Lisboa, Portugal

2 CESAM & Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, PT-3810–193 Aveiro, Portugal

3 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey UK-TW9 3AE, United Kingdom

4 South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X101, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
* author for correspondence

page 2

Background and aims -- The flora of Angola is little known. As part of the project ‘FLAN: Flora of Angola Online’, the Leguminosae (Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae and Papilionoideae) of Angola were revised and a catalogue of the taxa endemic to the country is presented together with distribution maps.

Methods -- Normal practices of herbarium taxonomy have been applied to study all herbarium material available.

Key results -- Up to present, 1016 taxa belonging to 166 genera of Leguminosae have been recorded for the flora of Angola. There are 144 native genera and 863 native species. The endemism is c. 19%, with 185 taxa endemic to Angola, consisting of 165 species and 20 infraspecific taxa. The genera Crotalaria and Indigofera have the highest number of endemics, with 46 and 20 species, respectively. Huíla is the province where more endemic taxa occur, with 83 taxa (44 %) recorded. As shown by the data analysed, 39 endemic taxa (20%) are only known from the type specimens and 77 (41%) have not been collected since 1960. A total of 93 names that were recorded in the ‘Conspectus Florae Angolensis’ as endemics, are either synonyms of widespread taxa or are now known to occur also elsewhere.

Conclusion -- The knowledge of diversity and endemism of Angolan Leguminosae is updated and documented.

Key words -- African flora, Angola, conservation, endemism, Fabaceae, Leguminosae,.

header levels


Material and methods
Diversity and endemism of Leguminosae in Angola

Richness of the flora -- A major factor contributing to the richness of the Angolan flora is the substantial area in the north of the country (c. 0.17 million km2) occupied by wetter tropical Guineo-Congolian and Guinea-Congolian/Zambezian regional transition zone forests and forest mosaics (White 1983; Huntley & Matos 1994). This is reflected in the relatively high percentages of genera occurring in legume tribes with a principally wet tropical affinity (Schrire & al. 2005). The Detarieae (Caesalpinioideae) have 28 genera in Angola (i.e. 50% of the 56 genera in the tribe occurring in Africa/Madagascar); the Mimoseae (Mimosoideae) have 17 genera (i.e. 74% of the 23 genera found in Africa/Madagascar) and Sophoreae (Papilionoideae) count 9 genera (i.e., 45% of the 20 genera occurring continentally). ………
Endemism -- The updating of the nomenclature and the analysis of the available literature has resulted in 47 names that were considered as endemic taxa being now reduced to synonyms of widespread taxa, and 46 taxa that were thought to be endemic to Angola have been found to occur elsewhere. As a result, the present figure for endemism of Leguminosae in Angola is 185 taxa, consisting of 165 species and 20 infraspecific taxa, representing c. 19% of the native species of Leguminosae. This is compared to c. 12 – 14% in the Flora Zambesiaca region with c. 235 endemic taxa, comprising 158 species and 77 infraspecific taxa. …………

Although our data are not sufficient yet to allow for an evaluation of the conservation status of these endemics, an analysis of the information available may give some indication of relative rarity. For instance, from the specimens examined and recorded in the literature and for which information on collecting dates was available, out of the 187 endemic taxa, 39 (20%) are apparently only known from type specimens and 77 (41%) have not been collected since 1960 (tab. 4). ……………….


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