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Brazilian Journal of Botany
Print version ISSN 0100-8404
RANDO, Juliana Gastaldello and PIRANI, José Rubens. Patterns of geographic distribution of the species of Chamaecrista sect. Chamaecrista ser. Coriaceae (Benth.) H. S. Irwin & Barneby Leguminosae - Caesalpinioideae. Rev. bras. Bot. [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.4, pp. 499-513. ISSN 0100-8404. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-84042011000400004.
An analysis of the geographic distribution of the 27 taxa belonging to 20 species of Chamaecrista sect. Chamaecrista ser. Coriaceae was carried out, based on maps depicting the known occurrences of the taxa. One species occurs in the Caribbean region, C. caribaea (Northr.) Britton, whereas the others are distributed in a main center of diversity, the Espinhaço Range, presenting two main patterns: 1) a continuous to disjunct occurrence through the Espinhaço Range and adjacent or disjunct areas, and 2) an endemic distribution in the southern region of that mountain range. Among the disjunctions, three species are noteworthy: one occurring in the Espinhaço and elevations of the "Arco de Brasília" westwards Goiás (C. cardiostegia H. S. Irwin & Barneby), other in the Espinhaço and in Espírito Santo State (C. mucronata (C. Sprengel) H. S. Irwin & Barneby), and a third one centered in the Espinhaço and in the Guyana Shield (C. roraimae (Benth.) Gleason). The distribution patterns are discussed, mainly as compared to data from other groups of angiosperms, and to a previous analysis of five species belonging to C. ser. Coriaceae. The results show a concentration of endemic species in highlands in the Cerrado Domain. They give additional support to the high degree of endemism already documented for other groups in the region. This analysis is an initial step allowing further studies to understand the processes responsible for the diversification of the group in the cerrado, specially in elevated areas.
Keywords : biogeography; endemism; Espinhaço Range; legumes.