This new, English-language volume in the Flore de Madagascar et des Comores series is published jointly by the Paris National Museum of Natural History and the lnstitut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD, Volume 50 in their series Faune et Flore Tropicales)
Madagascar, the “red Island”, hosts a distinctive and highly diverse flora estimated to comprise about 14,000 species of vascular plants, about 83 % of which are endemic. Endemism is also significant among genera, and the island also has 5 endemic families of angiosperms. This exceptional diversity results mainly from the wide array of eco-geographic conditions reflecting the island’s range of substrates, elevations, and bioclimates.
The estimated number of species in the Malagasy flora is increasing year after year, thanks to ongoing collecting efforts in the field and research leading to the description of new species. Taxonomic treatments like those presented here provide a significant contribution to our understand of Madagascar immense plant diversity and document the need for its urgent and effective conservation.
The present volume includes taxonomic revisions of 3 groups of Angiosperms. Within the order Boraginales, the circumscription of families has been extensively. 5 of the 11 families currently recognized occur on Madagascar, and are treated in the first part of the volume: Boraginaceae, Coldeniaceae, Cordiaceae, Ehretiaceae, and Heliotropiaceae. Significant changes have also impacted the classification of the family Olacaceae since it was first treated in “Flora of Madagascar and the Comoro Islands” in 1955. The previously recognized order Olacales has been merged into the Santalales, and Olacaceae were divided into 8 monophyletic families, 3 of which occur on Madagascar and are treated in the second chapter. The 3rd contribution to this volume deals with Apiaceae, where only a few changes have occurred. The treatment of the 15 genera present on Madagascar is complemented with an overview of the cultivated members of the family present on the island.
In keeping with the revised format of the Faune et Flore Tropicales collection, this volume includes, for each of the 3 chapters, a general overview of the families followed by detailed descriptions of the species, comprising accurate and up-to-date taxonomic and nomenclatural information, and line drawings for nearly all species along with many photographs; identification keys are provided in English and in French, and a distribution map is given for each species separately; preliminary risk of extinction assessments are also provided based on the UICN Red List requirements.
James S. Miller served as the Senior Vice President for Science and Conservation at the Missouri Botanical Garden until 2021, where he continues as a Senior Scientist. He is an authority on the systematics of the order Boraginales, a group often families and about 2,500 species that are widely scattered around the world. Dr Miller has conducted extensive fieldwork in many countries and is involved with tropical floristics, focusing primarily on Latin America and Tropical Africa and Madagascar, as well as in the development of methods to use information from these studies to inform conservation initiatives.
Zachary S. Rogers is a professor of botany and curator of the NMC Herbarium at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.A. Besides studying the flora of Madagascar for more than 20 years, he is a worldwide taxonomic specialist on the plant family Thymelaeaceae. He also maintains research associate status with the Missouri Botanical Garden, where he worked for two decades investigating numerous tropical floras. Zachary resides in the Chihuahuan Desert of Southern New Mexico with his wife, Sara Fuentes-Soriano, who is also a botanist, and "Diego" their Old English Sheepdog.
Valery Malécot is associate professor in botany at Agrocampus Ouest, internal school from l'lnstitut Agro, in Angers (France). He is teaching botany in the "Écologie Botanique Entomologie" unit of the Ecology department, of which he is co-director, and doing research activities in systematics in the "Genetics and Diversity of Ornamental Plants" team of the research unit called lnstitut de Recherches en Horticulture et Semences (IRHS).
Fátima Sales, a Portuguese botanist, has served as an Associate Professor and herbarium curator of the University of Coimbra since 1998 and has been a Research Associate of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh since 1993. She is a specialist on the floras of the Iberian Peninsula. the Mediterranean, SW Asia, and Africa, and has published on Poaceae, Lamiaceae, Campanulaceae, and Leguminosae. She has also contributed substantially to projects that involve modernizing the Coimbra herbarium and collections digitization.
Ian C.Hedge, a Scottish botanist, was a staff member of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh IRBGEJ from 1951 to 1992 and curator of the Herbarium from the mid-1960s until 1988. He has been an Honorary Associate of the RBGE since 1992. He is an expert on several families: Labiatae, Umbelliferae, Cruciferae, and Chenopodiaceae, and was much involved in the SW Asian countries, where he studied and collected plants. He was a close collaborator on the Flora of Turkey and contributed greatly to the Flora of Iraq, Flora of Cyprus, Flora of Pakistan, and especially Rechinger’s Flora Iranica. Dr Hedge published over 120 papers and c. 200 accounts in floras. including Labiatae for the Flore de Madagascar et des Comores. Recently he co-authored the Field Guide Afghanistan: Flora and Vegetation and associated publications on the vegetation of the country.