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This flora covers an area of about 6100 sq km in the department of Amazonas, in northern Peru close to the border with Ecuador. The Ro Cenepa is a tributary of Ro Mara#on and its drainage extends from the Ro Maranon to the border with Ecuador. The area is covered with lowland rainforest, with elevations ranging from 300 to 1050 m. The variation in substrates, from riverine deposits to nutrient-poor sandstone outcrops, has contributed greatly to the botanical diversity documented during the preparation of this work.
The Flora consists of two volumes: Volume 1 contains an introduction and treatments of the Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, and the families of flowering plants from Acanthaceae through Fabaceae. Volume 2 contains treatments of the families of flowering plants from Gentianaceae through Zingiberaceae.
The Introduction is written in two languages, Spanish and Aguaruna – the language of the indigenous people of the study area, and includes a general description of the area, sections on human population, land use, vegetation types, common names, conservation aspects, and a list of collaborators. In Volume 1, eight pages of color photos illustrate the habitat of the study area and representative species.
Within each major group (Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, Angiospermae), families, genera, and species are arranged alphabetically. Keys to families, genera, and species are provided within each of the major groups. Brief descriptions, notes on habitat preference, and Spanish and Aguaruna common names, when available, are given for each species. An extensive bibliography is provided at the end of Volume 2. The Flora includes 3504 species in 1046 genera and 181 families, almost 20% of the species listed in the Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Gymnosperms for Peru. The number of endemic species is not accurately known; some species described as endemic to the Ro Cenepa basin have subsequently been collected in adjacent Ecuador, while new species currently known only from the Cenepa drainage are still being described.
This work will be indispensable for those interested in the plant life of the Andean foothills, for taxonomists studying the plants of the western Amazonian rainforests, and for regional conservation efforts. The detailed description of the vegetation shows clearly that lowland rainforests consist of a composite of different vegetation types; this, in combination with the extensive bibliography, will facilitate botanical research in the lowland rainforests and forests of the Andean foothills of Peru and Ecuador.