Two new species of orchids were discovered in Colombia

Being the second most biodiverse nation in the world, Colombia is home to countless species that are unknown due to a lack of research, a lack of research that has a lot to do with the armed conflict. As a result, it is not difficult to discover new plant species to describe and publish in Colombia. that has prevented us from exploring hundreds of natural spaces during the last fifty years and to which we have been exposed as a society.

For example, over the course of regarding six years, Mario Sierra Ariza, a graduate in natural sciences and environmental education who works very hard to support himself while studying botany in Tolima, has discovered several orchids, but two in particular stand out: Pleurothallis petroana and Pleurothallis franciana. Because they belong to the genus Pleurothallis, he compared them to Pleurotha.

“Well, the first, the Petroana, I found in 2019 on a research trip for my thesis, and from there I began to study this species in depth because the group is taxonomically very complex, which required conversations with foreign researchers. I was able to confirm that it was an unreported specimen, which took me three years, when this happened I had to make an impromptu trip to Ibagué for various reasons, and there I discovered another specimen that was surprisingly similar: it belonged to the same class of plants, but none of us had written regarding it,” says Sierra. Therefore, he made the decision to create a journal article containing both works.
An investigation like this begins with a field trip, usually to a well-preserved location, with a variety of tools used to collect information and samples, such as a notebook, camera, recorder, among other things, and a Eleven. the individual is found, documentation begins in the deepest possible way, taking photos from all angles and of the best possible quality, and once this occurs, the plant is dissected and photos are taken once more, but this time , but this time ,

As Sierra explains, “then it’s time for the laboratory, or in my case at home because that’s where I work, which is a time to start reviewing a lot of scientific literature on the genus, reviewing specimens from different herbaria.” This might have been one of the most challenging tasks in the process because Pleurothallis is a genus with regarding 510 species recorded to date, which meant that he had to compare each one with the ones he found.

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The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, which “regulates the use of Latin botanical names for both wild and cultivated plants, with the exception of chimaeras,” is followed when research is completed and orchids are given names.

The independent scientist named his own Pleurothallis petroana and Pleurothallis franciana in honor of Gustavo Petro “for his political career focused on caring for the environment and mitigating the impact of climate change” and Francia Márquez, Goldman Prize winner, “for her environmental activism ; for working tirelessly for the conservation of rivers, land and roots; and for fighting once morest indiscriminate mining”, stated the researcher.

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