Mazus sunhangii (Mazaceae), α new species discovered in central China appears to be highly Endangered

Tao Deng, Xiao Shuang Zhang, Changkyun Kim, Jian Wen Zhang, Dai Gui Zhang, Sergei Volis

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Mazus sunhangii, a new species of Mazaceae from central China is described and illustrated based on evidence from morphology and molecular phylogeny. This new species is morphologically similar to M. puchellus and M. omeiensis but differs in erect habit, inflorescence position, leaf pattern and corolla color. Phylogenetic analysis based on four chloroplast DNA regions (rbcL, rps16, trnL-F, and psbA-trnH) identified the new species as the independent lineage sister to the other East Asian Mazus species. The new species is known only from a single location in Mt. Shennongjia area in northwest Hubei province, at the elevation of 760 m. The species grows on the limestone cliff, and, because a tourist arterial highway is located along this cliff, its habitat can be easily disturbed or destroyed. We propose that the only known species location is recognized as critical habitat (i.e., as the habitat required to ensure the persistence of a species) and the species listed as Critically Endangered based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Categories and Criteria B2a.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0163581
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


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