Tuesday, April 6, 2021

[Botany • 2020] Miconia lucenae (Melastomataceae) • A New Species from Montane Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo, Brazil

 Miconia lucenae R.Goldenb. & Michelang.

in Goldenberg​, Reginato & Michelangeli, 2020. 

We describe Miconia lucenae R.Goldenb. & Michelang., a new species from the montane Atlantic Forest in Santa Teresa in the state of Espírito Santo. Our analysis, based on three plastid spacers (atpF-atpH, psbK-psbl and trnS-trnG), one plastid gene (ndhF, not available for M. lucenae), and two nuclear ribosomal loci (nrITS and nrETS), showed that it belongs to a small clade with Miconia paradoxa (Mart. ex DC.) Triana (Minas Gerais) and M. michelangeliana R.Goldenb. & L.Kollmann (Espírito Santo). The three species in the “Paradoxa clade” can be recognized by the plants with glabrous or glabrescent branches and leaves, white petals and yellow stamens, these with the connectives not prolonged below the thecae, ventrally unappendaged, dorsally unappendaged or with a minute tooth, the latter bilobed or not, glabrous ovary, and the fruits with a persistent calyx. Miconia lucenae can be recognized, among the species in this clade, by the shrubby plants with terete young branches, short inflorescences, usually with red axes, and the 2-bracteolate, sessile, 4-merous flowers, with a ciliolate inner portion of the sepals, lanceolate petals, and 4-celled ovaries. This species can be considered as endangered according to IUCN criteria.

Figure 2: Illustration of  Miconia lucenae.
(A) Fertile branch. (B) Leaf base, abaxial view. (C) Petal, adaxial view. (D) Stamen, lateral view. (E) Stamen, dorsal view. (F) Old flower (petals and stamens removed) with bracteoles, and detail of the sepal, abaxial view. (G) Old flower (petals and stamens removed), longitudinal section. (H) Fruit. (I) and (J) Seeds. A–J from Goldenberg 1525 (UPCB). Illustration by Diana Carneiro.

Figure 3: Photos of living plants of  Miconia lucenae.
 (A) Leaf, abaxial view. (B) Inflorescence. (C) Flower, lateral view, and young fruit, top view. (D) Old flower (with persistent petals and stamens), lateral view. (E) Inflorescence branch with flowers and young fruits. (F) Leaf, abaxial view.
 (A–F) from Goldenberg 1525 (UPCB). Photos by F. Michelangeli.

Miconia lucenae R.Goldenb. & Michelang., spec. nov.

Diagnosis: Miconia lucenae differs from Miconia paradoxa in having terete young branches (vs. strongly decussate-flattened in M. paradoxa), ciliate inner portion of the sepals (vs. eciliate), and lanceolate petals (vs. obovate).

Distribution and niche modelling. Miconia lucenae has been collected 6 times in 4 different places, all of them in the Municipality of Santa Teresa, state of Espírito Santo (Fig. 5). Only one of the samples has an indication on elevation (900 m), but all of them seem to be collected in places with similar elevation. All specimens were collected in shaded areas, in rainforest understory.

Etymology. Miconia lucenae honors Dr. Sérgio Lucena Mendes, a primatologist at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, and more than once director of the Museu de Biologia Mello Leitão / Instituto Nacional da Mata Atlântica, in Santa Teresa. This tribute is deserved by his efforts on biological research, conservation policies in the state of Espírito Santo, and, more importantly, on his belief that the general public, and mostly the “capixabas” (i.e., people and things from Espírito Santo) must understand and value one of the most unknown and undervalued treasures that they have in their own backyards: the wondrously diverse Mata Atlântica.

Renato Goldenberg​, Marcelo Reginato and Fabián A. Michelangeli. 2020. Miconia lucenae (Melastomataceae), A New Species from Montane Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo, Brazil. PeerJ. 8:e8752. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.8752