New subspecies of Begonia reported from Philippines

New Subspecies of Begonia Reported from Philippines
Begonia bangsamoro subp. Bagasa. Credit: Mark Arcebal K. Naive

Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape is one of the declared protected areas of the Philippines and is characterized by a variety of habitats. The presence of various microhabitats is reflected in the diversity of flora and fauna found there. However, limited information is available and biodiversity studies are scarce up until at present.

In ongoing taxonomic studies of the genus Begonia in the island of Mindanao, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators collected a population of peculiar Begonia section Petermannia species. After meticulously examining its and comparing it with protologues and available digitized type specimens from across the Philippines and neighboring countries, they confirmed it as a subspecies of Begonia bangsamoro that is new to science.

The new subspecies was named as Begonia bangsamoro subp. Bagasa and published in Phytotaxa. It is the 17th representative of the genus Begonia for Zamboanga peninsula, Philippines.

The new subspecies is a terrestrial, monoecious, perennial herb, up to 30 cm long. It differs from Begonia bangsamoro subsp. bangsamoro in having staminate and pistillate flowers with much narrower and elongate tepals.

The new subspecies is endemic to the Zamboanga Peninsula. It was found in deeply shaded lower montane forest with damp soil growing along the trail with an elevation of 700–900 m a.s.l. It was also found growing as a terrestrial, lithophyte and as a climber on tree ferns.

The conservation status of the new is proposed as "Least concern" (LC), following the IInternational Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Standards.

  • New Subspecies of Begonia Reported from Philippines
    Begonia bangsamoro subp. Bagasa. Credit: Mark Arcebal K. Naive
  • New Subspecies of Begonia Reported from Philippines
    Begonia bangsamoro subp. Bagasa. Credit: Mark Arcebal K. Naive

More information: Mark Arcebal K. Naive et al, Taxonomy of the genus Begonia (Begoniaceae) in Mindanao, Philippines IV: Begonia bangsamoro subsp. bagasa (Begonia section Petermannia), a new subspecies from Zamboanga del Sur, Phytotaxa (2022). DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.559.1.10

Citation: New subspecies of Begonia reported from Philippines (2022, August 23) retrieved 27 May 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-subspecies-begonia-philippines.html
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