Amazonian Palm Flora — General Considerations
Since there has been no recent reassessment of many genera (Uhl and Dransfield 1987), it is difficult to give the real number of species within a genus, or, consequently, the total number of species occurring in Amazonia. This is likely to be lower in the largest genera, such as Bactris and Astrocaryum, where the related species, which present a high morphological variability, are considered as one. This attitude was assumed by Wessels Boer (1968) with Geonoma, Skov and Balslev (1989) with Hyospathe, and Henderson (1990) with Iriartea. On the other hand, the discovery of new genera and species for Amazonia is likely to continue for as long as the whole basin area has not been thoroughly collected. Since 1987, four new species have been named and others are to be described (Borchsenius, de Granville, Glassman, Kahn, in prep.) and two genera, Aphandra and Asterogyne, are new for Amazonia. The following estimate of the number of Amazonian palm species in each genus takes into account the currently valid species’ names, the preliminary statement of Henderson’s palm flora of the Amazon basin (in prep.), and the authors’ point of view (Table 1).
KeywordsAmazon Basin Terra Firma Palm Species Broad Strip Palm Distribution
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