From Plant Press, Vol. 20, No. 1, January 2017.
Nicolás Brignone from the Instituto de Botánica Darwinion in Buenos Aires, Argentina, visited the National Museum of Natural History from November 1 to December 9 as a recipient of a Lyman B. & Ruth C. Smith Fellowship Award. During his stay he studied the collection of Atriplex specimens housed at the U.S. National Herbarium.
Atriplex L. is one of the largest and more diverse genera of Amaranthaceae, with ca. 300 species of herbs, small shrubs or subshrubs that usually inhabit arid or semi-arid environments, and environments with saline or alkaline soils worldwide.
As a part of revisionary studies in the genus, he is performing the first integrative synopsis of Atriplex for South America based on the study of compared external morphology of extensive collections from South American herbaria and from the U.S. National Herbarium. The South American flora includes a total of 55 species of Atriplex, ten of which are adventive species and 45 native species.
During his visit, Brignone studied several species native to South America to gather information on geographic distribution and morphological characters. He was able to determine to species level 86 specimens collected in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela, and to re-determine 52 specimens.
Further, he studied in detail the type specimens of eight species of the genus Atriplex native from South America, and one native from North America: Atriplex asplundii Standl., A. chapinii I.M.Johnst., A. clivicola I.M.Johnst., A. clivicola var. lopholepis I.M.Johnst., A. hypsophila I.M.Johnst., A. oestophora S.F.Blake, A. rusbyi Britton, A. spatiosa A. Nelson, A. taltalensis I.M.Johnst. and A. transandina I.M.Johnst. Type material of A. cordubensis subsp. grandibracteata Múlgura was found in the general collection, as an isotype. Additionally, one specimen of A. pentandra (Jacq.) Standl. from Cuba is a proposed epitype in order to support the lectotype already designated.
The results of his study will be included in future scientific articles which will be submitted to different journals regarding taxonomy, systematics and nomenclatural issues about the South American species of Atriplex. He will properly acknowledge the Smithsonian Institution in these articles.