Plant Ecology and Evolution 154(1): 137-149, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2021.1770
An escape from the Espinhaço Range: a new species of Paepalanthus subg. Xeractis (Eriocaulaceae) from the campos rupestres of Serra do Padre Ângelo, Minas Gerais, Brazil
expand article infoCaroline Oliveira Andrino, Paulo M. Gonella§
‡ Instituto Tecnológico Vale Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Belém, Brazil§ Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, Sete Lagoas, Brazil
Open Access
Abstract

Background and aims – Recent botanical discoveries have highlighted the occurrence of campos rupestres in the Serra do Padre Ângelo (SPA), eastern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Here, we introduce the first new species of Paepalanthus subg. Xeractis to be described in the last three decades. Discovered in the SPA, it belongs to an emblematic lineage endemic to the campos rupestres of Minas Gerais.

Material and methods – The new species is described based on herbarium material and in situ observations. A morphological phylogenetic analysis was carried out by including the new species in a previously published character matrix. Its spatial distribution is discussed based on the obtained topology.

Key results – The new species is endemic to the SPA, but its closest related taxa are endemic to the Espinhaço Range (ER), ca 200 km distant. Its placement in the phylogeny supports the inclusion in P. ser. Fuscati, representing an escape from the ER. We present a clear morphological differentiation between the new species and its closest related taxa. Other similar cases of disjunct distribution among these areas of campos rupestres (SPA vs ER) are reviewed and discussed.

Conclusion – Based on the restricted distribution, allied with threats to the habitat, the new species is inserted in the IUCN category of Critically Endangered (CR). This new discovery reinforces the singularity of the SPA and the relevance of biodiversity inventories and conservation studies in the easternmost campos rupestres, and their classification as a priority area for conservation.

Keywords
Atlantic Forest, campos rupestres, Critically Endangered, disjunction, Paepalanthus oreodoxus, Serra do Padre Ângelo

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