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Floristic Assessment of the Upper Palumeu River, the Grensgebergte, and the Kasikasima Areas

Olaf Bánki, Chequita Bhikhi
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Palumeu River, we collected 188 plant specimens. At the Grensgebergte (site 2) we collected 69 plant specimens and 75 at the Makrutu camp (site 3). We also collected 11 plant specimens at the Palumeu village and 27 specimens at the rapids of the Palumeu River. We found 15 new plant species records for Suriname and two new genera. Two of these belong to lianas, four to shrubs and herbs and ten to trees. The Grensgebergte and the Kasikasima Mountains contain several vegetation types which are dominant and floristi- cally distinct for the central and southern parts of Suriname. These vegetation types include tall dryland tropical forest on laterite/granite hills, short savannah (moss) forest and open rock vegetation, including rocky outcrops around rapids, and tall seasonally flooded forest. Within these vegetation types, we recorded nearly all of the 15 new plant species records and the two new genus records for Suriname. We also recorded several rare species with only a few known occurrences in Suriname and/or in the Guianas. The note- worthy species include several rare orchids that are listed on appendices I and II of CITES, some carnivorous plants, and three tree species that are listed on the IUCN Red List, including one tree species listed as Critically Endangered. Plot surveys (0.1 ha) also indicated that the forests of South Suriname are floristically distinct from those of North Suri- name, but do not significantly differ in tree alpha diversity. The forests on the Guiana Shield basement complex are not uniform as stated by some. Our findings indicate the pristine status of the forests and vegetation types in Southeastern part of Suriname, and the fact that these forests are still poorly explored.

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