Topical collection "Systematics, natural history, and conservation of Erica (Ericaceae) "

Submission deadline: 30 June 2024

Topical collection editors

Michael Pirie, FĂ©lix Forest, Timo van der Niet, Jaime FagĂșndez, Seth Musker, Fernando Ojeda, Anina Coetzee, E. Charles Nelson

Topical collection information

Worldwide, a sobering proportion of plant species are threatened with extinction in the wild, and those that are naturally rare or have narrow distributions are particularly vulnerable. The flowering plant genus Erica is a prime example, its numerous species, concentrated in South Africa’s spectacular Cape Floristic Region, presenting additional challenges associated with conserving large, complex, plant groups.

The Erica research and conservation community is rallying to the call for a multi-disciplinary approach to these multifaceted challenges. We need to better understand, describe, and name species diversity, to enable accurate identification, and to understand the complexity of ecological interactions in the wild. We can then more effectively obtain and target funding for conservation efforts in natural habitats, and as a last resort, secure the most critically endangered species in seed banks and botanic gardens.

This topical collection of papers represents a coming together of a substantial body of research on inter-dependent themes in nomenclature, taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, and conservation of Erica species. It will serve as a lasting resource and reference for future work. It will also serve to disseminate and honour the enormous contribution to Erica taxonomy of our longstanding collaborator E.G.H. (Ted) Oliver and his late wife Inge.


Cover photo by Timo van der Niet.

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