CYPERACEAE OF BÉNIN

October 2002 to June 2003, MSc thesis

The aim of this thesis was the preparation of the contribution on the family Cyperaceae for the ‘Flora Analytique du Bénin’, edited by botanists from the Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Bénin) and the Wageningen Universiteit (The Netherlands). Studies were based on approximately 2000 collections from Bénin of the herbaria BR, BRLU and WAG. The mainly 1500 Cyperaceae collections of the Herbarium Vadense (WAG) had been collected by project  members in the framework of the ‘Projet ‘d’Aménagement d’un Herbier National et de Rédaction de la Flore Analytique du Bénin’.

Study of these specimens yielded a total of 152 Cyperaceae species belonging to 20 genera. Based on literature as well as specimens of neighbouring Togo, 30 more species were expected to occur in Bénin, resulting in the total number of 182 species for which data are presented. A new species, Kyllinga beninensis, was discovered among the specimens and described.

Well-tested identification keys are presented, as well as for each species the following data: taxonomy, a list of good figures (one of which is reproduced), a list of specimens studied, distribution in Bénin, vernacular name(s), detailed description, phenology, habitat and use(s). The identification keys and a summary of the information of each species have also been translated in French for the ‘Flora Analytique du Bénin’.
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Relevant publications:
Samain MS, Goetghebeur P. (2006) Cyperaceae. In: Akoègninou A, van der Burg WJ, van der Maesen LJG. (eds.), Flore Analytique du Bénin, Backhuys Publishers, Leiden: 82-121.
Samain MS, Reynders M, Goetghebeur P. (2006) Kyllinga beninensis (Cyperaceae), a new species from Bénin. Novon 16: 516-519.

Researcher:
Dr. Marie-Stéphanie Samain

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Paul Goetghebeur

Funding:
Ghent University
Department of Biology
Research Group Spermatophytes