PIPER & PEPEROMIA OF IBUNAM LOS TUXTLAS IN MEXICO

2010-2011, MSc thesis

This study aimed to make a complete inventory of the Piper and Peperomia species in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve. Fieldwork was conducted during August and September 2010. Areas close to the field station were explored on foot, accompanied by a guide or workers of the field station. More distant areas were reached by car before proceeding on foot. All Piper and Peperomia populations on the way were sampled. Their exact location was recorded with a GPS, fresh material was collected and dried to prepare herbarium specimens, and photos were taken to construct a database of all specimens. The first attempt to identification was carried out with the Flora of Guatemala (Standley & Steyermark, 1952) and all material was afterwards compared to herbarium material from MEXU, the National Herbarium of Mexico.

Twenty Piper and 12 Peperomia species were identified, growing in different habitats and with very diverse habits. In the floristic list of Ibarra-Manríquez and Colín (1987), 11 Piper and 10 Peperomia species were described. All of these Piper species were found and 9 were added to the list. Three Peperomia species were not found again but 5 other species were added. This checklist, consisting of species descriptions with photos and distribution maps, will be a useful tool for future research.
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Researcher:
Dorien Schouppe (Ghent University Master thesis student)

Supervisors:
Prof. Dr. Paul Goetghebeur
Prof. Dr. Marie-Stéphanie Samain
Dr. Helga Ochoterena - Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Associated laboratory technician at Ghent University:
Pieter Asselman

Collaboration:
Dr. Helga Ochoterena - Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Álvaro Campos - Instituto de Biología, Estación Biológica Los Tuxtlas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico Rosamond Coates - Instituto de Biología, Estación Biológica Los Tuxtlas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Funding:
Ghent University
Department of Biology
Research Group Spermatophytes