Systematics of the Tropical African Genus Berlinia (Detarieae: Caesalpinioideae: Leguminosae)
(project completed 2011)
Kew has been investigating the systematics, evolution and conservation of the tropical African tree genus Berlinia.
Berlinia congolensis in Gabon. Photo: J. Wieringa.
At the outset of the project, this tropical African forest and woodland tree genus comprised about sixteen species. The purpose of this project was to enumerate the species, assess their conservation status according to IUCN criteria, gain insight into the evolution and biogeography of the genus and to resolve conflicts in published regional taxonomic accounts of the genus by revising Berlinia over its entire distribution for the first time.
Objectives were to test the generic limits and enumerate and delimit the species by examining extensive loans of material borrowed from other Herbaria, visiting Herbaria with major holdings of African Legumes, undertaking fieldwork in West-Central Africa to target poorly known or possible new taxa as well as make first hand field observations and generating molecular data (three genomic regions) for phylogenetic analysis.
Key publications 2006-2011
- Mackinder. B & Wieringa, J.J. (2007). Novitates Gabonenses 58: Two new species of Berlinia (Leguminosae – Caesalpinioideae: Detarieae). Kew Bull. 62(1): 159-164.
- Mackinder, B.A. & Burgt, X. van der (2009). Berlinia korupensis (Leguminosae – Caesalpinioideae), a new tree species from Cameroon. Kew Bull. 64: 129-134.
- Mackinder, B. & Estrella, M. de la (2010). Berlinia. In Velayos, M., Acedo, C., Cabezas, F., Estrella, M. de la, Fero M. & Barberá, P. Flore de Guinea Ecuatorial 5 Leguminosae: 19-21. Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid.
- Mackinder, B. (2011). Leguminosae subfamily Caesalpinioideae. In Onana, J.M. & Cheek, M. (eds) Red Data Book. The flowering plants of Cameroon IUCN global assessments. London: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 176 – 188, maps 470 – 475.
- Mackinder, B. & Pennington, R.T. (2011). Monograph of Berlinia (Leguminosae). Systematic Botany Monographs 91. The American Society of Plant Taxonomists. 117 pp.
Project Partners and Collaborators
Herbier Nationals du Cameroun
University of Montreal, Canada
Herbier Nationals du Gabon
National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Wageningen University Branch
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh