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Kihansia jengiensis, a new species of Triuridaceae from southeastern Cameroon

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A new species of Triuridaceae, Kihansia jengiensis Sainge & Kenfack is described from the semi-deciduous forest of Southeastern Cameroon. The new species is illustrated and a key to the identification of the two species in the genus provided. The species constitutes the first record of the genus in central Africa and its conservation status is assessed as Critically Endangered.
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Kihansia jengiensis, a new species of Triuridaceae from southeastern
Cameroon
Moses N. Sainge
1
& David Kenfack
2
Summary. A new species of Triuridaceae, Kihansia jengiensis Sainge & Kenfack is described from the semi-
deciduous forest of Southeastern Cameroon. The new species is illustrated and a key to the identication of the
two species in the genus provided. The species constitutes the rst record of the genus in central Africa and its
conservation status is assessed as Critically Endangered.
Key Words. Critically Endangered, Jengi forest, Kupeaeae, myco-heterotrophic.
Introduction
Mycoheterotrophy the requirement for certain
plant species to obtain their carbohydrates from fungi
is a widespread condition among land plants. Myco-
heterotrophic plants include about 885 species
(Merckx et al. 2013) of which many are rather
inconspicuous herbs found in forest oor in tropical
and temperate forests worldwide. In addition to their
small size, many myco-heterotrophic plants grow
during the rainy season and their short life span
exacerbates the difculties in collecting them. Most
collections of myco-heterotrophic plants are opportu-
nistic and our current knowledge of the diversity of
this group might be highly underestimated. During
the last decade, the focus by the rst author on myco-
heterophic plants led to the description of six new
species in Cameroon (Franke 2004; Franke et al. 2004;
Sainge & Franke 2005; Sainge et al. 2005,2013).
In 2005, during the establishment of 1-ha perma-
nent plots for timber certication at the Jengi forest
area, southeastern Cameroon (Thomas & Chuyong
2006), the rst author came across a small population
of myco-heterotrophic plants including Burmannia
hexaptera Schltr., Sebaea oligantha (Gilg) Schinz, and
an unidentied species, the focus of this paper.
Specimens of this species had sessile unisexual
owers with 4 tepals and 4 sessile stamens, a
combination of characters that did not match any
myco-heterotrophic plant from the central Africa
region. Further observation showed that these
specimens have a perianth with a cup-like central
part, including 4 sessile stamens below the rim,
characteristic of Kihansia Cheek,agenusofTriur-
idaceae previously known only from Tanzania
(Cheek 2003). Unlike K. lovettii Cheek, the only
species so far known in the genus, specimens from
Jengi bear owers all along the inorescence rachis
and have entire lower tepals. We therefore con-
clude that we have a new species at hand that is
described below as K. jengiensis.
Key to species of Kihansia
Inorescence rhachis bearing owers only in lower quarter to half, upper part sterile, lower perianth lobe, only
rarely entire [Tanzania] . ................................................. Kihansia lovettii
Inorescence rhachis bearing owers along the whole length, all owers with lower perianth lobe entire
[Cameroon].........................................................Kihansia jengiensis
Kihansia jengiensis Sainge & Kenfack sp. nov. Type:
Cameroon, Southeast Region, Green valley Industry,
Forestry Management Unit 10021, Concession number
1018, approx. 25 km from sawmill, plot 2, 3°15'15.6"N,
14°28'46.8"E, 609 m alt., male ., 28 July 2006, Sainge M.
1623 in spirit (holotype MO!; isotypes K!, YA!).
Accepted for publication 4 February 2015.
1
Tropical Plant Exploration Group (TroPEG) Cameroon, P.O. Box 18 Mundemba, Southwest Region, Cameroon.
2
CTFS ForestGEO, MRC-166, Botany Department, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA. e-mail: kenfackd@si.edu
KEW BULLETIN (2015) 70:7
DOI 10.1007/S12225-015-9558-9
ISSN: 0075-5974 (print)
ISSN: 1874-933X (electronic)
© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2015
http://www.ipni.org/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:77144184-1
Dioecious myco-heterotrophic herb, cream-white, translu-
cent, glabrous; roots brownish, star-like to radiating,
liform, glabrous, up to 1 cm long, below ground stem
24 cm long, above ground stem 1 2 cm long, erect,
unbranched, cylindrical, c. 0.8 mm diam., internodes
up to 1.2 cm long. Leaves alternate, scaly, sessile,
Fig. 1. Kihansia jengiensis.Ahabit; Bmale inorescence; C&Dabaxial and adaxial view of the male ower; Elateral view of the
male ower; Fdetail of the androecial cavity; Glongitudinal section of the male ower; Hstamen. From Sainge M. 1623. DRAWN BY
D. KENFACK AND THASSILO FRANKE.
7 Page 2 of 5 KEW BULLETIN (2015) 70:7
© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2015
Fig. 2. Kihansia jengiensis.Amale inorescence on fresh material; Bhabit; Cmale inorescence on pickled material; Dscale leaf.
PHOTOS: A&BSAINGE MOSES; C&DDAVID KENFACK.
Page 3 of 5 7 KEW BULLETIN (2015) 70:7
© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2015
adaxially concave, 0.7 3.6 × 0.3 1.5 mm. Male
inorescence terminal, compact, up to 7.5 mm long, 2.5
4 mm diam., 6 10 owered. Male owers cream-
white to brownish, alternating at intervals of 0.5 1.5
mm; perianth bilaterally symmetrical, 4-lobed, c. 2.5 ×
5 mm in frontal view; lower tepal longest, triangular,
obtuse, 1.5 2.6 × 2.5 mm; the three other tepals sub-
equal, rounded, 1 1.5 × 1 2.6 mm; androecial cavity
central, concave, c. 1 × 1 1.5 mm. Stamens 4, white,
each opposite a perianth, 0.3 mm diam, 4-lobed.
Female inorescence terminal, 1 3-owered; perianth
as male owers; gynoecium white, c. 2.8 × 3.3 mm;
carpels c. 70 per ower, ovoid, transluscent, c. 0.35 ×
0.25 mm; style 0.6 0.8 mm long. Fruit black, bilobed,
c. 0.25 × 0.48 mm, style persistent. Figs 1&2.
RECOGNITION. A dioecious myco-heterotrophic herb
close to Kihansia lovettii but differing in the male
inorescence rhachis bearing owers along its whole
length and in the lower tepal being entire, versus
inorescence rhachis sterile in the upper half to three
quarters, lower tepal usually 2 (3)-d.
DISTRIBUTION. Southeastern Cameroon.
SPECIMENS EXAMINED. CAMEROON. Yokadouma: Green
valley Industry, Forestry Management Unit 10021,
Concession 1018, approx. 25 km from sawmill, plot
2, [3°15'15.6"N, 14°28'46.8"E, 609 m], 19 July 2005, .,
Sainge M. 1519, (MO!); 24 July 2006, ., Sainge M.
1620, (YA!), all in spirit.
HABITAT. Kihansia jengiensis was observed growing on
soil of up to 10 cm depth and within leaf litter on a
semi-deciduous forest oor. The type locality is fairly
at at an altitude of 600 m a.s.l. The climate in the
area is subequatorial with four seasons, a short rainy
season from mid-March to June, a short dry season
from July to mid-August, a long rainy season from
August ending to mid-November and long dry season
mid-November to mid-March (Green Valley Inc.
2003). Dominant canopy species in the area include
Celtis tessmannii Rendle (Ulmaceae), Zanthoxylum tess-
mannii (Engl.) Ayafor (Rutaceae), Eribroma oblongum
(Mast.) Pierre ex A. Chev.,Triplochiton scleroxylon K.
Schum., while the understory is dominated by several
species of Drypetes (Putrangivaceae).
FLOWERING AND PHENOLOGY. With the exception of a
few species that ower all year round such as
Sciaphila ledermannii Engl. (Sainge pers. obs.), the
anthesis of most myco-heterotrophic plants occurs
in the wet season (Jonker 1938;Franke2007).
However, Cheek (2003) pointed out that the
inorescences of Kupea and Kihansia remain above
the ground all year round. Kihansia jengiensis was
found in ower and fruit only during the short dry
season.
CONSERVATION STATUS. Kihansia jengiensis is known
only from the type locality. During the two visits to
the site in 2005 and 2006, only 18 individuals were
found scattered in a small area of less than 400 m
2
.
We did not nd additional populations or
individuals of this species despite extensive survey
in the area (2° to 4°N and 14° to 16°E) during the
establishment of 1-ha permanent plots (Thomas &
Chuyong 2006).Thetypelocalityisaforest
concession and is seriously threatened by timber
exploitation. We assess its conservation status as
Critically Endangered CR D following IUCN redlist
categories and criteria (IUCN 2001).
Acknowledgements
Kihansia jengiensis was discovered within the frame-
work of a forest monitoring partnership established
between the Center for Tropical Forest Science
(CTFS) of the Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute, WWF Central Africa Regional Program
(WWF-CARPO) and Green valley Inc., Groupe
Decalvenaere Timber Company funded by the
Central African Regional Program for Environment
(CARPE). We are grateful to the leaders of this
partnership, Drs Duncan W. Thomas, George B.
Chuyong, Leonard Usongo, Nzooh Zacharie and
Guy Decolvanaere for their help during eldwork.
We also thank the eld staff who were part of the
expedition, in particular Peter Mambo and Die-
udonne Mballa. We are grateful to Dr Thassilo
Franke for the rst diagnosis of this species and
the draft illustration.
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Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides a description of all plant families and genera that include putative fully mycoheterotrophic species, excluding initial and partial mycoheterotrophs. The overview covers a total of 17 families, 101 genera, and ca. 880 species. For each family and genus (except for Orchidaceae) a short morphological description is provided followed by notes on taxonomy, distribution, evolution, and ecology. For most genera a line drawing of a representative species is provided. Included families are: Aneuraceae, Burmanniaceae, Corsiaceae, Ericaceae, Gentianaceae, Gleicheniaceae, Iridaceae, Lycopodiaceae, Ophioglossaceae, Orchidaceae, Petrosaviaceae, Podocarpaceae, Polygalaceae, Psilotaceae, Schizaeaceae, Thismiaceae, and Triuridaceae. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights are reserved.
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Green valley Inc., Groupe Decalvenaere (2003). Plan d'aménagement. Unpublished report. IUCN (2001). IUCN Red list Categories and Criteria. Version 3.1. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland & Cambridge.