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Diversification of African Tree Legumes in Miombo–Mopane Woodlands

Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Biotechnology Center, Eduardo Mondlane University, Av. de Moçambique Km 1.5, Maputo 1109, Mozambique
Forest Research Center (CEF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering, Eduardo Mondlane University, Campus1, P.O. Box 257, Maputo 1102, Mozambique
Unidade de Geobiociências, Geoengenharias e Geotecnologias (GeoBioTec), Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Monte de Caparica, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Plants 2019, 8(6), 182;
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
PDF [3803 KB, uploaded 20 June 2019]


The southern African Miombo and Mopane ecoregions constitute a unique repository of plant diversity whose diversification and evolutionary history is still understudied. In this work, we assessed the diversity, distribution, and conservation status of Miombo and Mopane tree legumes within the Zambezian phytoregion. Data were retrieved from several plant and gene databases and phylogenetic analyses were performed based on genetic barcodes. Seventy-eight species (74 from Miombo and 23 from Mopane, 19 common to both ecoregions) have been scored. Species diversity was high within both ecoregions, but information about the actual conservation status is scarce and available only for ca. 15% of the species. Results of phylogenetic analyses were consistent with current legume classification but did not allow us to draw any conclusion regarding the evolutionary history of Miombo and Mopane tree legumes. Future studies are proposed to dissect the diversity and structure of key species in order to consolidate the network of conservation areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: diversity; Miombo; Mopane; tree legumes; Zambezian phytoregion diversity; Miombo; Mopane; tree legumes; Zambezian phytoregion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Maquia, I.; Catarino, S.; Pena, A.R.; Brito, D.R.; Ribeiro, N.S.; Romeiras, M.M.; Ribeiro-Barros, A.I. Diversification of African Tree Legumes in Miombo–Mopane Woodlands. Plants 2019, 8, 182.

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