Novelties in Lepidaploinae (Asteraceae, Vernonieae) from the easternmost campos rupestres of Minas Gerais, Brazil: two new species and a range expansion


Background – Recent collection efforts in Serra do Padre Ângelo, Pico da Aliança, and Sete Salões State Park, all located in the state of Minas Gerais, have uncovered many botanical and zoological novelties. The region is an outlying campos rupestres area inserted in the Atlantic Forest phytogeographic domain, with its flora mostly related to that of the core campos rupestres area in the Espinhaço Range. Three species of Asteraceae, one of the most representative families in the campos rupestres, have been recently described for the area. Here we report two new species from the genera Lepidaploa and Lessingianthus and one range extension in Lessingianthus, both from subtribe Lepidaploinae.Methods – This study was based on specimens from the herbaria HUFU, MBML, SPF, UFP, and on field observations. Morphological observations and measures were taken following standard practices. Preliminary conservation assessments are based on field observations and spatial analyses (i.e. extent of occurrence, area of occupancy), following IUCN guidelines and criteria.Results – Two new species are described: Lepidaploa campirupestris, related to Lepidaploa aurea, differing from the latter by leaf indumentum, pedunculate heads, and number of florets; and Lessingianthus petraeus, related to Lessingianthus adenophyllus, but differing by leaf position and leaf blade morphology. We also report a range extension for Lessingianthus squamosus, previously known only for the state of Espı́rito Santo, ca 200 km away. Our results shed light on the interesting biogeography of the region, which mostly contains components of other campos rupestres areas intermixed with typical inselberg vegetation. It also highlights the importance of compiling floristic inventories in poorly collected localities and the need for conservation strategies for this biodiverse region.