Studies in Neotropical Araliaceae. IX. Four New Species of Sciodaphyllum from the Cordillera Abitagua, Eastern Andes of Ecuador
Following the recent resurrection of Sciodaphyllum P. Browne (Araliaceae) to accommodate the majority of Neotropical species formerly included in Schefflera J. R. Forst. & G. Forst., we have begun to describe the many new members of this genus documented during field and herbarium studies conducted over the past several years. Here we describe and illustrate four new hemi-epiphytic species of Sciodaphyllum from a small area of the eastern Andes in central Ecuador: the western slopes of the Cordillera Abitagua in canton Baños, Tungurahua Province, in the buffer zone of Llanganates National Park. The four new species described, all collected within a few days in an area of less than 10 km² and not known from any other locality, are S. merinoi D. A. Neill, G. M. Plunkett, Lowry & M. M. Mora, S. purocafeanum G. M. Plunkett, M. M. Mora, D. A. Neill & Lowry, S. recaldiorum Lowry, G. M. Plunkett, M. M. Mora & D. A. Neill, and S. zunacense M. M. Mora, Lowry, G. M. Plunkett & D. A. Neill. The conservation status of all four species is assessed as Vulnerable (VU D2) according to the IUCN Red List criteria.