Madrid, Spain (SPX) Feb 21, 2011
Just when everyone thought that almost every plant species on the Iberian Peninsula had been discovered, Spanish researchers have discovered Taraxacum decastroi and Taraxacum lacianense, two dandelions from the Pyrenees and the Cordillera Cantabrica mountain range, respectively. This finding confirms Spain's privileged position as a hotbed of biodiversity.
"It's hard to find new species now in Spain. It depends on the complexity of the group of plants you study", Antonio Galan de Mera, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Biology (Botany) at the San Pablo-CEU University in Madrid, tells SINC.
According to the study, which has been published in Annales Botanici Fennici, it has been no easy task to identify these two new plants. "We had to compare them with numerous examples from Europe (above all in Spain and Portugal), which were lent to us from the collections of other colleagues", says Galan de Mera.
Taraxacum decastroi and Taraxacum lacianense are plants with long leaves and little pollen, because they reproduce by means of seeds without fertilisation. They also have "fairly characteristic" fruits with little ornamentation, "which differentiates them from other species in the Peninsula", the scientist adds.
T. decastroi, which takes its name from the naturalist Emilio de Castro y Perez de Castro, is a plant from the Pyrenees fir forests of Lerida, while T. lacianense, first spotted by Jose Alfredo Vicente Orellana, grows in the birch woods of the Montes de Leon mountains, specifically in the area of Laciana. Both plants live in moist environments and face certain threats.
"Taraxacum lacianense lives in environments that are very vulnerable to becoming dried out. In addition, the bogland in which it grows is in the birch woods of the Montes de Leon, which are seriously threatened by open cast coal mining", the biologist explains.
New plants, greater biodiversity
In Spain, "it is impossible to pinpoint" the number of new plants that still remain to be discovered "although genus studies can always throw up surprises", says the researcher, who is currently studying another "probable" new species in the province of Madrid related with a forest group. The team has also found another in Portugal, Segovia and Asturias.
The two new species will be included in the chapter on the Taraxacum genus in the work Flora Iberica, which has been published by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) since 1986. The Botany Department of the San Pablo-CEU University collaborates on this initiative by means of its herbarium, which conserves plants from the Iberian Peninsula and South America.
Galan de Mera, Antonio; Vicente Orellana, Jose Alfredo. "Taraxacum decastroi and T-lacianense (Asteraceae), two new species from the Iberian Peninsula". Annales Botanici Fennici 47(4): 307-311, 2010.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050
Washington (AFP) Feb 20, 2011
A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday. The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and S ... read more
Ground-Based Lasers Vie With Satellites To Map Earth's Magnetic Field|
Monitoring Killer Mice From Space
2012 Science Budget Endorsed By Earth And Space Scientists
UK Celebrates A Decade Of Disaster Monitoring From Space
EU issues urgent call to 21 states on satellite network
Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellite Exceeds 10 Years On-Orbit
Russia To Launch Glonass Satellite Feb 24
SkyTraq Introduces Low-Power High-Performance GLONASS/GPS Receiver
Forests under threat as Armenians turn off the gas
Conservation of two firs may be linked
Central America has highest forest loss
Canada heeds softwood lumber ruling
Study: Meeting biofuel goal may be costly
Race To The BioFuel Pump
Advanced Ethanol Leaders Join RFA to Form New Advocacy Council
Algae in wastewater seen as energy source
MRWPCA And SolarCity complete Megawatt Solar Installation
Mortenson To Build Largest Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant In The World
The University Of Maryland College Park Announces 631 KW Solar Project
Saft Lithium-Ion Battery Technology Selected For Solar Energy Storage Project In California
Eon to build fifth U.K. offshore wind farm
GL Garrad Hassan Launches Onshore Wind Resource Mapping For UK
Construction Begins On Dempsey Ridge Wind Project
India's Suzlon wins $1.28 bn wind power deal
China mine blast death toll up to 26: state media
Seven found dead in China mine flood: state media
China mine flood traps at least seven: state media
29 still trapped in New Zealand coal mine
Chinese state-run media play down protest calls
Italian seeks kung-fu stardom in Shanghai
Amid Mideast unrest, is China next?
Firewall architect admits skirting China barriers
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|