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Acanthopale decempedalis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA SCROPHULARIALES ACANTHACEAE

Scientific Name: Acanthopale decempedalis
Species Authority: C.B.Clarke

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2b(iii)c(iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Darbyshire, I.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Pollock, C.M. (Red List Programme Office)
Justification:
This taxon forms gregarious communities together with Brachystephanus giganteus, Mimulopsis solmsii (both Acanthaceae) and Plectranthus insignis (Labiatae), flowering together en masse on 7–9 year cycles followed by die-off and subsequent regeneration (Cheek et. al. 2000). The latter two species are widespread Afromontane taxa but the former two are restricted to the West Cameroon Uplands phytochorion. Kupe-Bakossi appears the most important area for A. decempedalis, being recorded at six locations here.

The dead woody stems of these taxa following mass-flowering years provide a source of firewood for local populations in the Bamenda Highlands.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Nigeria: Cross River State (1 coll.), Equatorial Guinea: Bioko (5 coll.), Western Cameroon: Kupe-Bakossi (9 coll.), Mt Cameroon (9 coll.), Bamenda Highlands (Mt Oku: 1, elsewhere: 3 coll.).
Countries:
Native:
Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko); Nigeria
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in closed canopy submontane and montane forest understorey, occasionally in disturbed forest, (700–)1,000–2,300 m alt.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much of the montane forest in S.W. Province remains relatively undisturbed, but clearance for agriculture is widespread in the Bamenda Highlands, threatening these populations. Furthermore, the cyclical mass-flowering habit of this species results in large fluctuations in mature populations, making it susceptible to short-term stochastic change, for example local fire events or landslides which could decimate seedling populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The current population sizes in terms of both number of individuals and area of occupancy should be assessed as this is not clear from the specimen data. A better understanding of the flowering cycle of this community should be gained, including population fluctuations between cycles. Bamenda Highlands populations outside protected areas may provide valuable information on how immature populations respond to increased anthropogenic pressures.

Citation: Darbyshire, I. 2004. Acanthopale decempedalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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