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Acta botánica mexicana

versão On-line ISSN 2448-7589versão impressa ISSN 0187-7151

Act. Bot. Mex  no.106 Pátzcuaro Jan. 2014


Additions and updated names for grasses of Durango, Mexico


Adiciones y nombres actualizados de las gramíneas de Durango, México


Yolanda Herrera-Arrieta


* Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Unidad Durango, Sigma 119, Fracc. 20 de Noviembre II, 34220 Durango, Durango, México.


Recibido en junio de 2012.
Aceptado en junio de 2013.



Twelve years after publication of the floristic treatment "Las Gramíneas de Durango", a list of accepted names is updated based on recent botanical work in Durango, Mexico. Ninety-one genera, 367 species, 15 subspecies, 55 varieties and 2 forms are included. Of these, 14 genera are newly recognized for Durango, whereas 17 genera previously reported from the state are now treated as synonyms, and three genera previously recorded are excluded. At the specific and infraspecific levels, 46 changes for synonymy occurred. Fifteen species were excluded, while 43 species and 27 infraspecific taxa were added. Four species are reported as new records for the state.

Key words: additions, Durango, grasses, Mexico.



Después de 12 años que fuera publicado el tratamiento florístico de "Las gramíneas de Durango" se presenta una relación de nombres aceptados, actualizados con base en trabajos botánicos recientes, de las gramíneas de Durango, México. Se reconocen un total de 91 géneros, 367 especies, 15 subespecies, 55 variedades y 2 formas. De ellos, 14 géneros representan nuevos registros para la entidad, mientras que 17 previamente reconocidos corresponden a sinónimos en el inventario actual y se excluyen tres registrados anteriormente. En los niveles específico e infraespecífico, se realizaron 46 cambios por sinonimia. Quince especies se excluyeron, mientras que 43 y 27 taxa infraespecíficos se adicionaron. Cuatro especies resultaron ser nuevos registros para el estado.

Palabras clave: adiciones, Durango, gramíneas, México.



Because of the great economic importance and large size of the family, the nomenclature of Poaceae is huge and elaborate. The first comprehensive treatment of grasses from North America was prepared by Beal (1896) and later Hitchcock (1913) prepared a treatment of Mexican grasses. In addition to making plant collections throughout the continent since the end of the 19th Century, American agrostologists continued to verify the identity of the taxa, as well as describe and apply names to new species. As a result of their efforts, a number of important floristic and floristic-ecologic reports from large regions have been published, e.g., North America (Hitchcock, 1935 and Hitchcock & Chase, 1951), "Nueva Galicia" (McVaugh, 1983), and "The grasslands of Durango" (Gentry, 1957). Most taxa have more than one name, because they were described by different authors, and some names have been repeatedly misapplied to different species. In both cases, valid names since have been established with the later names relegated to synonymy.

The first important catalogue of grasses in the New World was the "Index of American grasses", edited by Chase and Niles (1962), who included all accepted names and synonymy known at the time. Another very recent compilation of this kind is the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Soreng et al. 2013,, continually updated) with hard copies published by subfamilies (Judziewicz et al. 2000, Peterson et al. 2001, Zuloaga et al. 2003, and Soreng et al. 2003, 2013). Dávila et al. (2006) compiled and edited the corresponding data of the accepted names and synonymy for the Mexican taxa in the "Catálogo de las Gramíneas de México". The present article is based on these two last catalogues, and has been further enriched by recently published treatments (e.g., Finot et al. 2004, Bess et al. 2006, Zuloaga et al. 2007, Bell and Columbus 2008, Valdés-Reyna et al. 2009, Columbus and Smith 2010, Peterson et al. 2010, Chemisquy et al. 2010, Peterson et al. 2012) and/or additions of new described species (Finot et al. 2004, Peterson et al. 2004, 2006, Peterson and Columbus 2009). In addition, I have included new reports based on review of recently collected grass specimens in the state of Durango (Herrera Arrieta et al. 2004, Herrera Arrieta and Cortés Ortíz 2009, 2010, Herrera Arrieta et al. 2012).

In conjunction with projects that the Mexican Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO) has funded to pursue biodiversity research, I have found that there are substantial changes that should be reported to the community of agrostologists, grassland students, and general users. These include newly found taxa, new synonyms, and corrections to erroneous determinations. The purpose of the current study is to review these changes and provide an updated list of the names of the currently accepted taxa for Durango.



Grass specimens from Durango are constantly being deposited by scientists and students at the CIIDIR herbarium, and this material has been the source of new records during the past 12 years. In addition, other important herbaria with many Mexican collections were examined: CHAPA, ENCB, HUAA, IEB, MEXU, SLPM, TAES, US. Most of the synonyms and nomenclatural changes follow those given in the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Soreng et al. 2013,



Tables 1 and 2 show the numerous modifications at the generic, specific or infraspecific level for grasses in Durango that have occurred during the last 12 years. Accepted taxa are displayed in bold.

In summary, an additional 15 genera are currently recognized as occurring in Durango (these indicated by * in Table 1 and 2), whereas 17 genera previously recognized for the state are now treated as synonyms (**Table 1). Three previously recorded genera are excluded: Allolepis Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Guadua Kunth and Setariopsis Scribn. Guadua was based on an erroneous determination; Allolepis and Setariopsis were cited for Durango but a specimen was never found.

Forty-six changes due to synonymy occurred at the specific and infraspecific level (Table 1).

I excluded the following 15 species because they were based on misidentifications: Agrostis alba L. (synonym of Poa nemoralis L.), Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Aristida purpurea var. parishii (Hitchc.) Allred, Axonopus compressus (Sw.) P. Beauv., Bouteloua disticha (Kunth) Benth., Elymus interruptus Buckley, Eragrostis obtusiflora (E. Fourn.) Scribn., Festuca rubra L., Guadua longifolia (E. Fourn.) R.W. Pohl, Hordeum arizonicum Covas, Leptoloma cognata (Schult.) Chase, Panicum virgatum L., Setariopsis latiglumis (Vasey) Scribn., Sorghastrum brunneum Swallen, Urochloa texana (Buckley) R.D. Webster.

Forty-three species, 5 subspecies and 22 varieties were added to the previous treatment (Table 2).

The final result is the recognition of 91 genera, 367 species, 15 subspecies, 55 varieties and 2 forms (listed in Appendix below); it is worth mentioning that four species (Digitaria pubiflora, Elymus canadensis, Luziola fluitans, and Paspalum dilatatum) are new records for Durango.



I thank the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (SIP, COFAA) for facilities and financial support carried out at IPN CIIDIR Durango, in the framework of the project "Pastos más comunes en Durango" SIP-20031025; and CONABIO for financial support to the projects R010 y V024. I also recognize and thank the time dedicated to the revision of this manuscript by anonymous reviewers and by S. González and P.M. Peterson, whose recommendations substantially improved the present manuscript. Many thanks are given to my colleagues for the help at the herbarium CIIDIR.



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