Recent Topics Posters
Benavides, Juan C., Crandall-Stotler, Barbara J., Stotler, Ray.
Morphological annotations of rare liverworts from the northern Andean páramos.
Páramos, high elevation alpine communities of the northern Andes, have a rich liverwort flora, with more than 25% of the 291 reported species considered to be endemic. Many of these taxa have been seldom collected and are incompletely known. Field studies in Colombia over the last two years and posterior establishment of axenic cultures from newly collected samples have allowed us to expand the morphological database for some of these poorly known high elevation liverworts. Annotations will focus on a few of the structurally unique taxa that are typically restricted to high elevation and/or páramo habitats, including Stephaniella paraphyllina, two species of Gongylanthus, Fossombronia peruviana , Nardia succulenta, Syzygiella cf. grollei, Leptoscyphus physocalyx, and Hypolophozia jamesonii. In addition, a range extension of Bromeliophila helenae, an element of the Lejeuneaceae that inhabits the leaf axils of high elevation bromeliads, will be discussed and two taxa that are potentially new to science will be described. The first of these is a medium-sized Riccardia with a lobate, canaliculate thallus that grows interspersed among the larger plants of the cushion bog, and the second, is a morphologically and ecologically distinct Colura found growing on peaty soil at 4300 m elevation. This expanded knowledge of páramo taxa not only clarifies their systematic affinities, but also contributes to our understanding of this unique habitat as a repository of hepatic diversity.