Washington: Missouri Botanical Garden botanists have discovered eight new plant species in northern Bolivia.
The new species collected in the Madidi National Park and surrounding areas located on the eastern slopes of the Andes are from several different genera and families.
Missouri Botanical Garden scientists and colleagues from the National Herbarium described Prestonia leco, Passiflora madidiana, Siphoneugena minima, Siphoneugena glabrata, Hydrocotyle apolobambensis, Weberbauerocereus madidiensis, Styloceras connatum and Meriania horrida.
All but one species, Siphoneugena glabrata, were collected as part of Proyecto Madidi (Project Madidi), a ten-year effort to inventory plant species in the National Park.
Peter Jorgensen, of the Missouri Botanical Garden considered the threat to the species to be limited if the protected areas are respected, but several places within the region are at risk of fragmentation as a result of the construction of new roads and the increase in cattle and farming activities.
"Before we started this project in 2000, this botanically rich area was essentially a white area on the map, almost unexplored. There has been very little general collecting in this area. Over the course of a decade we have documented more than 7,000 species, which is about a third of what you can find in North America," said Jorgensen.