Brachystephanus giganteus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Brachystephanus giganteus
Species Authority: Champl.
Taxonomic Notes: Synonym = Oreacanthus mannii Benth.

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)
A species of the gregarious, mass-flowering herbaceous community of upland forest, it is more restricted in altitudinal range than Acanthopale decempedalis. It appears locally common on Mt Cameroon but is scarce elsewhere, being restricted to Muanenguba and on Mt Kupe in the current checklist area. Both are pre-1980 collections, and this species was not recorded during extensive inventory work at these sites in the 1990s, perhaps because these surveys did not coincide with mass-flowering years.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Equatorial Guinea: Bioko (2 coll.), W. Cameroon: Kupe-Bakossi (2 coll.), Rumpi Hills (1 coll.), Mt Cameroon (13 coll.), Bamenda Highlands (Mt Oku: 3 coll., Bafut Ngemba: 1 coll.).

Previously named Oreacanthus mannii Benth., this taxon has been reassigned to Brachystephanus by D. Champluvier during her monograph of this genus, currently in preparation.
Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Found in closed canopy montane forest, (1,300–)2,000–2,600 m alt.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much of the montane forest in the 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: 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. In addition, a survey of this taxon should be carried out during the next mass-flowering year on Mt Kupe and Manengouba.

Citation: Darbyshire, I. 2004. Brachystephanus giganteus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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