The role of herbaria for taxonomic and distributional studies in Characeae: examples from the Herbarium Mediterraneum Panormitanum (PAL) and the Florence Tropical Herbarium (FT)

Risultato della ricerca: Other

Abstract

Characeae is a taxonomically critical family. Taxonomical uncertaintiesinevitably affect its distributional data. The role of herbarium specimens,particularly types and original material, is crucial for unravelling taxonomical‘knots’. Moreover, wet areas have undergone dramatic reduction andmodification in the last century and historical herbarium specimens may representbasic documents for the reconstruction of former distributions. Somepreliminary data from two different Italian Herbaria are here presented.The Herbarium Mediterraneum Panormitanum (PAL, the standardacronym according to the Index herbariorum, http://sweetgum.nybg.org/ih) houses four folders of Characeae exsiccata. Two of them contain Italianmaterial, the other two extra-Italian, mostly European material. Italian materialtotals 88 specimens, many of them collected in Sicily in 19th Centuryand often reviewed by Formiggini (1908). Many of these Sicilian collectionlocalities are today deeply modified, but as later collections are quite rare,current knowledge on many taxa still relies on those very specimens, whichshould be carefully reviewed. As an example, one of the few known bisexualpopulations of Chara canescens Loisel., reported in Sicily at Pergusa Lake (onespecimen is in PAL), could not be confirmed by recent exploration of the site.The Tropical Herbarium of Florence (FT) hosts 30 specimens of Characeae(data are available online: http://herbarium.univie.ac.at/database/search.php), most of them unidentified, but important because collected betweenthe end of 19th and the first decades of 20th century in the Horn of Africa (theeast African peninsula including Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea, geographicalcore of FT collections). Present knowledge of the charophyte flora of this areais poor, and (as stated by Langangen 2015) “a more systematic survey willundoubtly produce interesting results”. - Formiggini L. 1908. Bullettino della Società Botanica Italiana 1908: 81-86.Langangen A. 2015. Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, series B - Historia Naturalis71(3-4): 239–248.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Pagine53-53
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

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