COSTULARIA: Biodiversity & Evolution

August 2014 to present, collaborative research project

The sedge genus Costularia occurs in southern Africa, Madagascar and its surrounding islands, and from Borneo to New Caledonia. It includes 25 species according to the currently accepted circumscription. However, recent molecular phylogenetic results suggest that the genus is polyphyletic as was already suggested by Raynal in the seventies.

In order to update the Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar (a project by the Missouri Botanical Garden), a Malagasy botanist is currently performing a revision of the species of the genus found in Madagascar. Also, recently, several putative new species have been collected from various localities.

In order to support the findings from the ongoing morphological studies, a project to investigate the genus using molecular phylogenetics is underway.
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Relevant publications:
Henriette E, Larridon I, Morel C, Goetghebeur P, Senterre B. (2015) Revision of the genus Costularia (Cyperaceae: Schoeneae) for the flora of Seychelles, including the re-discovery and resurrection of a rare endemic species. Phytotaxa 231 (1): 31-41.

Researchers involved include:

Prof. Dr. Isabel Larridon
Prof. Dr. Paul Goetghebeur
Christina J. Prychid - Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK
Prof. Dr. A. Muthama Muasya - University of Cape Town, South Africa
Prof. Dr. Jeremy J. Bruhl - University of New England, Australia
Karen L. Wilson - Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia
Dr. Bruno Senterre - National Herbarium Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles
Rondro Ramananjanahary - Missouri Botanical Gardens, Madagascar

Laboratory technicians:
Pieter Asselman
Viki Vandomme

Capacity building grant - Belgian National Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI)

Ghent University
Department of Biology
Research Group Spermatophytes
Ghent University Botanical Garden