Published on 31 December 2015
The Araceae family includes 118 genera and 3 800 species of tropical plants. It represents the 13th richest family in the world. The present work is devoted to the Araceae of French Guiana, where the family is largely represented by 21 genera and 122 species, of which a large number of samples have been deposited at the Guiana Herbarium. The originality of the Araceae lies in their varied floral morphology (bi- or unisexual fertile flowers, sterile flowers), habit (aquatic plants, geophytes, vines and epiphytes), mode of pollination and unusual physiology. In fact, the temperature of the inflorescence can increase sharply during pollination, thereby creating conditions favorable for the activities of nocturnal pollinating Coleoptera.
Several chapters cover Araceae biology and ecology: growth patterns, floral morphology, thermogenesis, pollination and relationships with non-pollinating animals. Ethnobotanical usages are described in a separate chapter. The last section, devoted to systematics, provides identification keys for the genera and species found in Guiana, as well as a brief description of each species.
Denis Barabé is Researcher Emeritus at the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (Montreal Botanical Garden, Université de Montréal) and associate professor at the University of Prince Edward Island (Canada). His research focuses on the morphology, development and systematics of the Araceae, and has involved extensive field work in French Guiana.
Marc Gibernau is a Researcher at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France), in the Environmental Sciences joint research unit (SPE, UMR CNRS 6134). His research, conducted while assigned to the Ecology of Guianan Forests joint research unit (CNRS, IRD, AgroParisTech, INRA, Université Antilles-Guyane), examines the diversity and evolution of pollination in the Araceae of French Guiana.
BARABÉ D. & GIBERNAU M. 2015. — Aracées de Guyane française : Biologie et systématique. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris ; IRD, Marseille, 349 p. (Faune et Flore tropicales ; 46).