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The Alibertia group (Gardenieae–Rubiaceae) comprises 12 neotropical genera and about 110 species, a few of which extend to extra-tropical areas in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. Six genera and 50 species are monographed: Agouticarpa (7 spp.), Alibertia (15 spp.), Cordiera (25 spp.), Melanopsidium (1 sp.), Riodocea (1 sp.), and Stenosepala (1 sp.). The taxonomy, phylogeny, various aspects of morphology, and natural history are treated. The genera of the group are characterized by being dioecious, woody plants with heteromorphic inflorescences (except Amaioua and Botryarrhena), heteromorphic flowers, contorted corolla aestivation, pollen grains released as monads, and baccate fruits. Agouticarpa is readily recognized by its caducous stipules, tiny calyx tube, pedicellate male inflorescences, and small to large, globular fruits. Alibertia and Cordiera are characterized by usually having capitate male inflorescences. The male corolla is (4-)5-6(-8)-merous in Alibertia and (3-)4-5(-7)-merous in Cordiera. Pollen grains are porate in Alibertia and colporate in Cordiera. The fruits in Alibertia are leathery or woody and (1-)5-10(-15) cm diam., whereas those of Cordiera are usually fleshy and 0.7-3(-6) cm diam. Melanopsidium may be recognized by their sheathing stipules that are split on one side, the rather congested cyme of the male inflorescences, and the ribbed ovary and fruit. Riodocea is easily recognized by its contorted, foliose calyx lobes that are persistent in fruit and 12-15-merous campanulate corolla. Stenosepala is characterized by its narrow calyx lobes, persistent, aristate triangular stipules, a large, rather sparse thyrse, and very hirsute ovary in female flowers. Fourteen new taxa are described in this treatment: Alibertia curviflora var. loretana Delprete & C. H. Perss., A. edulis var. manuana Delprete & C. H. Perss., A. occidentalis Delprete & C. H. Perss., Cordiera bahiensis C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. carioca C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. coriacea C. H. Perss., Delprete & Popovkin, C. montana C. H. Perss., Delprete & Antonelli, C. mussunungae C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. myrciifolia var. barbata C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. myrciifolia var. peruviana C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. papillosa C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. rugulata C. H. Perss. & Delprete, C. stipulacea C. H. Perss. & Delprete, and C. tuberculata C. H. Perss. & Delprete.
Piero Giuseppe Delprete was born in a small town near Casale Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy, on 19 February 1958. He received his primary schooling in the same town, and obtained a diploma in Agrarian Studies at the Istituto Tecnico Agrario Galileo Ferraris at Vercelli (Italy) in 1979. He later frequented the Faculty of Forestal Sciences of the University of Turin, and worked as a research assistant in forestry at the Istituto di Sperimentazione per la Pioppicultura under the Ministry of Agriculture, Italy, from 1982 to 1986. He switched his career to tropical botany by completing his B.S. in Botany in 1990 at the University of California, Davis (USA) under the guidance of Dr. Grady Webster, and his Ph.D. in Botany at The University of Texas at Austin (USA) with Dr. Billie Turner as major professor. He then worked as assistant curator at The New York Botanical Garden (1996 -2003), as a visiting scientist at The National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Utrecht Branch (2004), and as professor and visiting scientist at The Federal University of Goi ás, Goi ânia, Brazil (2004-2008). Since 2009 he is the resident scientist at The Herbier de Guyane (CAY), UMR AMAP, Institut de Recherche pour le D éveloppement (IRD), Cayenne, French Guiana. He is contributing Rubiaceae treatments for Flora Neotropica Monographs, Flora Mesoamericana, Flora of Ecuador, Flora of the Guianas, Flora dos Estados de Goi ás e Tocantins (Brazil), Flora do Distrito Federal (Brazil), and floristic inventories in several South American countries. He collaborates with several teams on molecular biology, chemotaxonomy and plant/animal interactions, and he also studies the historical collections of several naturalists in the Neotropics. He has travelled widely throughout the tropical forests of most countries of Central and South America (particularly Brazil), the Greater Antilles (particularly Cuba), the Galapagos Islands, Africa, and the Philippines. Piero G. Delprete's Author Page
Claes Persson was born on 1 October 1960 in Kungsbacka, Sweden. He began studying biology at the University of Gothenburg in 1986, and earned a Ph.D. in systematic botany in 1998. In 1998-99 he spent a year as postdoc at The New York Botanical Garden. From 1999 to 2005 he worked part time as lecturer at the University of Gothenburg and at herbarium GB in Gothenburg. Since 2005 he has full-time employment as lecturer and curator at herbarium GB at the University of Gothenburg. Since 2005 he is also co-editor of the Flora of Ecuador. His research interests include systematics of the coffee family, Rubiaceae, mainly the tribe Gardenieae, as well as the milkwort family, Polygalaceae. Claes Persson's Author Page