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      A new species of Rhaptopetalum (Lecythidaceae) from south-western Gabon

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      PhytoKeys

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Rhaptopetalumrabiense Kenfack & Nguema, sp. nov. from the Rabi forest in south-western Gabon is described, illustrated and assigned a provisional conservation status of “Critically Endangered”. An identification key to the five Gabonese species of Rhaptopetalum is also provided.

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            Ecological Importance of Small-Diameter Trees to the Structure, Diversity and Biomass of a Tropical Evergreen Forest at Rabi, Gabon

            Tropical forests have long been recognized for their biodiversity and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, tropical forests, and particularly those of central Africa, remain understudied. Until recently, most forest inventories in Central Africa have focused on trees ≥10 cm in diameter, even though several studies have shown that small-diameter tree population may be important to demographic rates and nutrient cycling. To determine the ecological importance of small-diameter trees in central African forests, we used data from a 25-ha permanent plot that we established in the rainforest of Gabon to study the diversity and dynamics of these forests. Within the plot, we censused 175,830 trees ≥1 cm dbh from 54 families, 192 genera, and 345 species. Average tree density was 7,026 trees/ha, basal area 31.64 m2/ha, and above-ground biomass 369.40 Mg/ha. Fabaceae, Ebenaceae and Euphorbiaceae were the most important families by basal area, density and above-ground biomass. Small-diameter trees (1 cm ≥ dbh <10 cm) comprised 93.7% of the total tree population, 16.5% of basal area, and 4.8% of the above-ground biomass. They also had diversity 18% higher at family level, 34% higher at genus level, and 42% higher at species level than trees ≥10 cm dbh. Although the relative contribution of small-diameter trees to biomass was comparable to other forests globally, their contribution to forest density, and diversity was disproportionately higher. The high levels of diversity within small-diameter classes may give these forests high levels of structural resilience to anthropogenic/natural disturbance and a changing climate.
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              Phylogenetic relationships of Lecythidaceae: a cladistic analysis using rbcL sequence and morphological data.

              This study examined in detail the rbcL sequence and morphological support for subfamilial relationships and monophyly of Lecythidaceae. Initially we needed to establish relationships of Lecythidaceae among other dicot families. To complete this we examined 47 rbcL sequences of 25 families along with molecular observations from several large analyses of rbcL data. All analyses strongly support the monophyly of the asterid III grouping. This analysis revealed Lecythidaceae to be paraphyletic and indicated potential outgroup relationships with Sapotaceae. Once relationships had been evaluated using molecular data we then concentrated on analyzing separate and combined morphological and molecular databases. The topology of the morphological data set was similar to the rbcL sequence and combined data sets except for the positioning of Napoleonaeoideae, Grias, Gustavia, and Oubanguia. According to the combined results, Planchonioideae, Lecythidoideae. and Foetidioideae are monophyletic, whereas the subfamily Napoleonaeoideae are paraphyletic. Nested within Napolconaeoideae, we found Asteronthos forms a strongly supported clade with Oubanguia (Scytopetalaceae). Foetidia, the only genus of Foetidioideae, is sister to Planchonioideae, and this clade is sister to Lecythidoideae. The [(Planchonioideae, Foetidioideae) Lecythidoideae are sister to Asteranthos/Oubanguia. Napoleonaeoideae are sister to the rest of Lecythidaceae.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PhytoKeys
                PK
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2003
                1314-2011
                July 23 2019
                July 23 2019
                : 128
                : 39-46
                Article
                10.3897/phytokeys.128.34640
                6667394
                31379455
                © 2019

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