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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Biology

Abstract

The Galápagos Islands have long been an arena for biological diversity, scientific discovery, and conservation. Accurate identification and documentation of the flora of the Galápagos continue to aid conservation efforts. The purpose of this study was to conduct a taxonomic revision of the endemic members genus Varronia (Cordiaceae) on the Islands: V. revoluta (Hook. f.) Andersson, V. leucophlyctis (Hook. f.) Andersson, V. canescens Andersson, and V. scouleri (Hook. f.) Andersson. Taxonomic uncertainty among these species has resulted in difficult evaluation of their potential for conservation status by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The present taxonomic study concludes that there are four endemic species of Varronia: V. revoluta (Hook. f.) Andersson, V. leucophlyctis (Hook. f.) Andersson, V. canescens Andersson, and V. scouleri (Hook. f.) Andersson. Further, this study has resulted in a new dichotomous key for field identification, using hair types as the strongest characters for differentiation between species. A new distribution map also specifies on which islands each species has been found. Proper identification and distribution assessment adds valuable information for the evaluation of endemic Varronia populations on the Islands to determine the conservation status of each species.

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Biology Commons

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