Forest plants on the edge of existence in tropical Africa

Tropical rain forests are one of the most biologically diverse habitats on the planet but description of flora and fauna and understanding of their evolutionary history are far from complete. As they are a source of sustainable resources including potential pharmaceuticals, cuisine and timber, there is an increasing need for assessing global biodiversity changes. The GLDAFRICA project chose to study a subfamily of the legumes, the Detarioideae, to investigate the geographical patterns of species richness. “Using next-generation sequencing, we want to identify hotspots of evolutionary diversity and recent speciation events in west central Africa,” outlines Dr Felix Forest, project coordinator.

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