Senecio berteroi   ((De Candolle) Pelser)


 
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Bertero's Robinsonia
(Senecio berteroi)

 
syn. Balbisia berterii (De Candolle), Ingenhousia thurifera ((De Candolle) Kuntze), Rhetinodendron berteroi ( (De Candolle) Hemsley), Robinsonia berteroi ( (De Candolle) Sanders), Vendredia berterii ( (De Candolle) Baillon)

 
distribution:

Chile: Isla Robinsón Crusoe / Juan Fernández Islands

 
local name:

Incensio (Spanish)
Resino Hembra (Spanish)

 
size: ca. 4 - 8 m (height)

extinction date: last known individual died in 2004

 
The Juan Fernández Archipelago consists of three larger and some smaller islands, lying in the South Pacific Ocean up to 747 away from the coast of Chile.

An interesting component of the archipelago's native flora is the high number of endemic species of the composite family.

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This species, Bertero's Robinsonia, was a quite small, about 4 or 5 m tall only scarcely branched treelet (there is a report of an unusually large plant measuring 8 m) with up to 20 cm long and 2 cm wide leaves at the tips of its branches. The typical composite daisy-like flower heads were born in terminal, upright standing, cluster-like inflorescences and were formed by up to 1000 single flowers.

The species was dioecious, that means there were solely male as well as solely female plants.

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The population was heavily reduced by introduced rats but much more so by rabbits. Furthermore several species of plants were imported to the Juan Fernández Islands, among them species like the Chilean Wineberry (Aristotelia chilensis ((Molina) Stuntz)) and the Elm-leaf Blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius (Schott)). Many of these plants turned out to be highly invasive and some of them now form almost pure stands in several places on the islands.

The last known specimen of this species, a male individual, died in the year 2004.

 
left:

Bertero's Robinsonia (Senecio berteroi)


Photo from 'The Natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, edited by Carl Skottsberg. Vol. 2., Botany. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1920-1953'

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
 
left:

Berteroi's Robinsonia (Senecio berteroi), single flowers; left female flower, middle and right male flowers


Depiction from 'The Natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, edited by Carl Skottsberg. Vol. 2., Botany. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1920-1953'

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

 
References:

- Ph. Danton; Ch. Perrier: Notes sur la disparition d'une espèse emblématique: Robinsonia berteroi (DC.) Sanders, Stuessy & Martic. (Asteraceae), dans l'île Robinson Crusoe, archipel Juan Fernández (Chili). Le Journal de Botanique de la Société Botanique de France 31: 3-8. 2005
- Andrés Moreira-Muñoz; Mélica Muñoz-Schick: Classification, diversity, and distribution of Chilean Asteraceae: implications for biogeography and conservation. Diversity Distrib. 13: 818-828. 2007
- Pieter B. Pelser; Eric J. Tepe; Aaron H. Kennedy; Linda E. Watson: The fate of Robinsonia (Asteraceae): sunk in Senecio, but still monophyletic?. Phytotaxa 5: 31-46. 2010