Doucet R., Bibang Bengono G., Ruwet M., Van de Vreken I., Lecart B., Doucet J.-L., Fernandez Pierna J. A., Lejeune P., Jourez B., Souza A., Richel A. [2022] Highlighting a new morphospecies within the Dialium genus using leaves and wood traits, forests 13, 1339. –

Abstract :

During inventories of lesser-known timber species in eastern Gabon, a new Dialium morphospecies was discovered. To discriminate it from the two other 2–5 leaflets Dialium species, 25 leaf traits were measured on 45 trees (16 Dialium pachyphyllum, 14 Dialium lopense, 15 Dialium sp. nov.). Nine wood chemical traits, as well as infrared spectra, were also examined on harvestable trees (four Dialium pachyphyllum and four Dialium sp. nov.). This study revealed seven discriminant leaf traits that allowed to create a field identification key. Nine significant differences (five in sapwood and four in heartwood) in terms of wood composition were highlighted. The use of the PLS-DA technique on FT-IR wood spectra allowed to accurately identify the new morphospecies. These results provide strong support for describing a new species in this genus. Implications for sustainable management of its populations are also discussed.

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