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Pycnandra Benth. (Sapotaceae) is the largest endemic genus in New Caledonia and is subdivided into six subgenera. An addition of five species are here described in four subgenera, viz. P. comptonioides Swenson & Munzinger, P. kouakouensis Swenson & Munzinger, P. montana Swenson & Munzinger, P. poindimiensis Swenson & Munzinger and P. versicolor Swenson & Munzinger. Another seven to nine taxa are discussed but remain undescribed owing to the lack of adequate collections (and may remain undescribed pending the interpretation of the Nagoya Protocol). Pycnandra is characterised by a non-areolate higher leaf venation, sepals glabrous on the inner surface, no staminodes, and a single-seeded fruit. The members occur in a wide range of habitats and most species have very specific substrate requirements, growing on ultramafic, non-ultramafic or calcareous substrates. Almost 40 species are restricted to ultramafic substrates and many are now at risk of extinction because of deforestation, deliberately set fires and mining. We provide a systematic synopsis with keys to subgenera and species, phenology, substrate preferences, altitudinal ranges and preliminary IUCN Red List assessments for all described taxa. Four of the five new species are assessed as Critically Endangered. Pycnandra versicolor is in urgent need of conservation management beacuse its entire distribution is inside an active mine on the Koniambo massif.
Halimeda J.V.Lamour. is a green algal genus that is an important component of tropical reefs and lagoons. Although it does not generally occur outside the tropics, the range of one putatively widespread species, Halimeda cuneata Hering, in Western Australia extends southward past Cape Leeuwin to its southern extreme at Cape Howe and around to its most easterly record at Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago. Previous molecular studies have shown that H. cuneata as recorded worldwide encompasses cryptic species diversity, with most of the cryptic entities being geographically isolated from the others. Halimeda cuneata has been the name consistently applied to specimens from the south-western coast of Australia, where it has been regarded as the only representative of its genus in the region. Using a combination of morphological features and assessment of species boundaries based on a plastid gene (tufA) and a nuclear protein-coding gene (HSP90), we have reassessed the supposed presence of H. cuneata in south-western Australia. Our results showed the existence of two species in the region, namely, H. versatilis J.Agardh, to which the name H. cuneata has been misapplied, and H. gigas W.R.Taylor, a central-Pacific species previously recorded only from tropical Australia.
Specimens of all known taxa and putative entities belonging to the Banksia spinulosa complex were collected from Kuranda in northern Queensland, western to central Queensland and down the eastern coast of Australia to Wilsons Promontory in southern Victoria. These specimens were used to investigate morphological variation in habit, stems, leaves, inflorescences, fruits and seeds in the complex. Phenetic analysis (unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean, UPGMA, clustering and semi-strong hybrid multi-dimensional scaling, SSH–MDS, ordination) was performed on the full dataset of 233 entities using 33 characters (18 quantitative, two binary and 13 multistate). To facilitate visualisation of patterns in both clustering and ordination, we also analysed subgroups based on the results of the phenogram from the full dataset. The results showed that the five known and described taxa are phenetically distinct, viz. B. collina sens. str., B. cunninghamii sens. str., B. neoanglica, B. spinulosa and B. vincentia, and provided support for a further 12 morphometrically diagnosable entities, four of which could not be diagnosed with simple combinations of character states and require further investigation. The present study has highlighted that there is much more hidden morphological diversity in the B. spinulosa complex than has previously been recognised in any of the current competing taxonomies.
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