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Botanical Sciences

versión On-line ISSN 2007-4476versión impresa ISSN 2007-4298


RICO-ARCE, María de Lourdes et al. The botanical collections of Thomas Baillie MacDougall (1895-1973); a legacy for the biodiversity of Mexico. Bot. sci [online]. 2015, vol.93, n.2, pp.191-201. ISSN 2007-4476.

Thomas Baillie MacDougall "Don Tomas" (1895-1973) was a Scottish horticulturist, botanist and anthropologist with passion for nature. During 1930-1971 he explored and collected animals and plants in Mexico, mainly in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. To date, some of the plants he gathered have not been seen nor collected again. MacDougall was author or co-author of genera and species of plants and animals; additionally, at least 21 species were described and named after him. His botanical collections include types housed mainly in The New York Botanical Garden and the National Herbarium of the Institute of Biology in Mexico. The National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity has a dataset of 2,601 records, most of the information taken from his field diaries found in the Rare Book Collection of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Due to the high diversity of the places he explored and the need to conserve species richness, we aimed to reconstruct his itinerary and georeference localities of his botanical collections using spatial analysis in search of specific places with the primary types vegetation and a Digital Elevation Model. The result was 483 georeferenced sites. The families Begoniaceae, Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, Orchidaceae and Gesneriaceae were the best represented in his collections from the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz and Puebla. In less degree, almost 50% of his total collections are species found in mountane cloud forest in Mexico, the subsequent percentages were found in pine, pine-oak, and seasonally dry forests. This information herein presented is important for the use, knowledge and evaluation in the country biodiversity.

Palabras llave : conservation; electronic database; georeferencing; historical collections; mountainous cloud forest.

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