Three new genera of arecoid palm (Arecaceae) from eastern Malesia
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- Heatubun, C.D., Zona, S. & Baker, W.J. Kew Bull (2014) 69: 9525. doi:10.1007/s12225-014-9525-x
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Recent botanical exploration in eastern Malesia has resulted in the discovery of three spectacular palm taxa that have proved difficult to assign to genus. New evidence from molecular phylogenetic research indicates that these taxa should now be recognised as three monotypic genera. Here, we describe these genera as new to science, all of which are members of subtribe Ptychospermatinae (Areceae: Arecoideae). Jailoloa Heatubun & W. J. Baker is restricted to ultramafic vegetation in a single site in Halmahera and is Critically Endangered due to nickel mining. Manjekia W. J. Baker & Heatubun is scattered throughout the limestone vegetation of Biak Island, east of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of New Guinea, and is Endangered, although parts of its distribution fall within a protected area. Wallaceodoxa Heatubun & W. J. Baker, named to mark the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s death, is found on Gag and Waigeo, two of the Raja Ampat Islands west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, where it is Critically Endangered due to its small and rapidly reducing population. Full morphological descriptions are provided with detailed comparisons with related genera, alongside a revised key to the genera of Ptychospermatinae. These new genera are unexpected additions to the palm flora of Malesia, and demand urgent conservation attention.