Melanophylla dianeae (Torricelliaceae), a New, Critically Endangered Species from a Remnant Forest Fragment in East-central Madagascar

  • Porter P. Lowry II Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Chris Birkinshaw Missouri Botanical Garden
  • George E. Schatz Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Patrice Antilahimena Missouri Botanical Garden
Keywords: Conservation, IUCN Red List, Madagascar, Melanophylla, new species, Torricelliaceae


Melanophylla dianeae Lowry & G. E. Schatz (Torricelliaceae) is described as a new species from a remnant fragment of highly threatened humid forest in east-central Madagascar. Collected for the first time in 2016, just five adult trees are known from an area that has been heavily impacted by forest clearing for slash-and-burn agriculture. Mature fruits have been collected in an attempt to grow seedlings, and air-layering is being trialed on an adult tree to produce vegetative material for propagation, as part of an effort to ensure ex situ conservation of this rare species. An IUCN Red List risk of extinction assessment reveals that M. dianeae is Critically Endangered.

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