Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Dalbergia melanoxylon
(African blackwood)

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Datasheet

Dalbergia melanoxylon (African blackwood)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Dalbergia melanoxylon
  • Preferred Common Name
  • African blackwood
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
A wild specimen of D. melanoxylon in Molo forest reserve, Zimbabwe (8 m high, 10 cm d.b.h.).
TitleTree
CaptionA wild specimen of D. melanoxylon in Molo forest reserve, Zimbabwe (8 m high, 10 cm d.b.h.).
CopyrightD.P. Gwaze
A wild specimen of D. melanoxylon in Molo forest reserve, Zimbabwe (8 m high, 10 cm d.b.h.).
TreeA wild specimen of D. melanoxylon in Molo forest reserve, Zimbabwe (8 m high, 10 cm d.b.h.).D.P. Gwaze
Pale-grey to greyish-brown bark of D. melanoxylon, smooth and flaking in long, narrow strips.
TitleBark
CaptionPale-grey to greyish-brown bark of D. melanoxylon, smooth and flaking in long, narrow strips.
CopyrightD.P. Gwaze
Pale-grey to greyish-brown bark of D. melanoxylon, smooth and flaking in long, narrow strips.
BarkPale-grey to greyish-brown bark of D. melanoxylon, smooth and flaking in long, narrow strips.D.P. Gwaze
D. melanoxylon leaves and thorns. Leaves alternate, pinnately-compound, 6-22 cm long.
TitleLeaves and thorns
CaptionD. melanoxylon leaves and thorns. Leaves alternate, pinnately-compound, 6-22 cm long.
CopyrightD.P. Gwaze
D. melanoxylon leaves and thorns. Leaves alternate, pinnately-compound, 6-22 cm long.
Leaves and thornsD. melanoxylon leaves and thorns. Leaves alternate, pinnately-compound, 6-22 cm long.D.P. Gwaze

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr.

Preferred Common Name

  • African blackwood

Other Scientific Names

  • Amerimnon melanoxylon (Guill. & Perr.) Kuntze

International Common Names

  • English: African ebony; African ironwood; Bombay rosewood; ebony; Javanese palisander; Mozambique ebony; Senegal ebony; Sudan ebony
  • Spanish: grenadilla
  • French: bois noir d'Afrique; palissandre d'Afrique
  • Arabic: babanus
  • Portuguese: pau-preto

Local Common Names

  • Benin: kissikiinde; siebou
  • Burkina Faso: kissikiinde; siebou
  • Cameroon: jalhelahi
  • Chad: jalhelahi
  • Ethiopia: babanuse; babanusi; moghano; moghono; zebe; zibeh; zobbi; zoppi
  • Germany: Schwarzholz
  • Guinea: jalhelahi
  • Italy: ebano del Senegal; grenadilla d'Africa
  • Kenya: kikwaju; mboranguluwe; muengo; muvingu; mwengo; samachi
  • Netherlands: ebbehout, driedoring
  • Niger: dieldianadju; kalgalam; siebou
  • Nigeria: tabum
  • Senegal: dalaban; dialambram; kio; koffo; ndelemban
  • South Africa: sebrahuot; zabrawood; zebrawood
  • Southern Africa: driedoring; swartdriedoring; umPhingo
  • Sudan: babanus; begboio; bokango; chella; did; faiti; funiti; jalhelahi; lurr; red; rit; rugbe; shami; tarech; tareh
  • Tanzania: endisika; gembe; kidamo; kinti; masojanda; mgembe; mgembya; mhembete; mhingo; minday; mpingo; mugembe; mupako; mwajinde; ngembi; nyamfunga; nyamfunza; oitiaska; oitlaska; pau preto; q'oya; tamumo
  • Togo: jeti-ebo; kissikiinde; siebou
  • Uganda: motangu; mufunjo; poyi
  • Zambia: mukelete
  • Zimbabwe: mufulamba; mugweze; muhati; mukelete; mumbeze; murwiti; musukachama; mutsonga; umbambangwe

EPPO code

  • DAGME (Dalbergia melanoxylon)

Trade name

  • African blackwood
  • African ebony
  • African ironwood
  • blackwood
  • cape damson
  • ebbehout
  • ebene de Mocambique
  • ebenier du Senegal
  • ebony
  • grenadill
  • grenadilla
  • grenadillo
  • mgembe
  • Mozambique ebony
  • mpingo
  • mugembe
  • palisandre de Senegal
  • poyi
  • Senegal ebony
  • zebrawood

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Dalbergia
  •                                     Species: Dalbergia melanoxylon

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Dalbergia is a large genus in the subfamily Papilionoideae (Faboideae) of the Leguminosae family (Fabacae). With dozens of names recorded for the species throughout its wide natural range and export destinations, D. melanoxylon timber is commonly known as African blackwood, granadilla, mpingo (Swahili), zebrawood (Southern Africa), poyi (Uganda), dalaban (West Africa) and mgembe (Tanzania) in trade.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

IndiaPresent Planted
-KarnatakaPresent Planted
-MaharashtraPresent Planted
-Tamil NaduPresent Planted

Africa

AngolaPresent Natural
BeninPresent Natural
BotswanaPresent Natural
Burkina FasoPresent Natural
CameroonPresent Natural
Central African RepublicPresent Natural
ChadPresent Natural
Congo Democratic RepublicPresent Natural
Côte d'IvoirePresent Natural
EritreaPresent Natural
EthiopiaPresent Natural
GhanaPresent Natural
GuineaPresent Natural
KenyaPresent Natural
LiberiaPresent Natural
MadagascarPresent Natural
MalawiPresent Natural
MaliPresent Natural
MozambiquePresent Natural
NamibiaPresent Natural
NigeriaPresent Natural
SenegalPresent Natural
South AfricaPresent Natural
SudanPresent Natural
SwazilandPresent Natural
TanzaniaPresent Natural
TogoPresent Natural
UgandaPresent Natural
ZambiaPresent Natural
ZimbabwePresent Natural

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
27 -20 0 1500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -15
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 24 30
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 30 35
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 10 13

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration48number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall2001250mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Wood Products

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Charcoal

Containers

  • Boxes

Furniture

Roundwood

  • Building poles
  • Pit props
  • Posts
  • Roundwood structures

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
  • Flooring
  • For light construction
  • Shingles
  • Wall panelling

Veneers

Woodware

  • Brushes
  • Cutlery
  • Industrial and domestic woodware
  • Marquetry
  • Musical instruments
  • Tool handles
  • Turnery
  • Wood carvings

References

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ABCP, 2004. African Blackwood Conservation Project. http:// www.blackwoodconservation.org.

African Woods, 2004. Products – Dalbergia melanoxylon (African Blackwood). South Africa: African Woods. http://www.africanwoods.co.za/products.html.

Albano G, 2001. Indigenous management practices and conservation of Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. and Perr. in Mozambique : a case study form two villages in southern Cabo Delgado. MSc Thesis. Wageningen University, Environmental Sciences. The Netherlands.

Anon, 2003. No raw materials for Kenyan wood carvers. Afrol News, 21 June 2003, http://www.afrol.com/articles/11105.

Anon., 1966. Timbers of Tanganyika. Moshi, Tanzania: Utilisation Section, Forest Division.

Ball SMJ, 2004. Stocks and exploitation of East African blackwood: a flagship species for Tanzania’s Miombo woodlands? Oryx, 38(3), July 2004.

Ball SMJ; Smith AS; Keylock NS; Manoko L; Mlay D; Morgan ER; Ormand JRH; Timothy J, 1998. Tanzanian Mpingo 96. Final Report. Unpublished Report.Cambridge, UK: Mpingo Conservation Project, Fauna and Flora International.

Bevan LJV; Harrison PJ, 2003. Mpingo ‘99. Full Report. Cambridge, UK: Mpingo Conservation Project, Fauna and Flora International.

Breitenbach F-von, 1963. The indigenous trees of Ethiopia. 2nd ed. (rev.) 1963. pp. 306. 31 refs. Ethiopian Forestry Association, Addis Ababa.

Brown WH, 1978. Timbers of Africa. Timber Research and Development Association, UK.

Bryce JM, 1967. The commercial timbers of Tanzania. Forest Division, Ministry of Agriculture & Co-operatives, Moshi, Tanzania.

Chikamai BN; Kigomo BN, 2003. Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Synthesis European Tropical Forest Research Network, Dicussion paper, E-discussion and Workshop, March-July, 2003.

Chuwa SM, 2001. The African Blackwood Conservation Project – Community-Based Educatinal and Tree Planting Program for Mpingo Conservation. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Chuwa SM, 2004. Information and Conservation of the Mpingo Tree (Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill and Perr.) in Tanzania. http://www.blackwoodconservation.org/tree.html.

Coates-Palgrave K, 1996. Trees of Southern Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: C. S. Struik Publishers.

Convention on Biological Diversity for Burkina Faso, 2004. Clearing House Mechanism. http://bch-cbd.naturalsciences.be/burkina/bf-eng/index.htm.

Cunningham AB, 1998. Ecological Footprint of the Wooden Rhino: Depletion of hardwoods for the Carving Trade in Kenya. http://peopleandplants.org/regions/kenya/hardwood.htm.

Drummond RB, 1981. Common trees of the central watershed woodlands of Zimbabwe. Salisbury, Zimbabwe: Natural Resources Board.

Eggeling WJ; Harris CM, 1939. Forest trees and timbers of the British Empire. IV. Fifteen Uganda timbers.

El Amin HM, 1990. Trees & shrubs of the Sudan. 1990, Exeter, UK: Ithaca Press. vii + 484 pp.

Elkhalifa KF, 2003. Nursery establishment of abanus. Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research, 21(3):153-157.

Ellegard A, 1997. Environmental Assessment for electric power line extension Nampula-Ribaue-Iapala Mazambique. Stockholm Environment Institute.

Farm Forest Line, 2004. Some Trees Can Be Weeds. Australia. http://www.farmforestline.com.au/pages/5.2.2_some.html.

Fazal A, 2001. Black Going Green. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

FFI, 1997. Soundwood Newsletter No. 5. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

FFI, 1999. Soundwood Newsletter No. 7.. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Forest Division Tanzania, 1984. Trees for Village Forestry. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Tanzania Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry.

Forest World Group, 2004. African Blackwood - Woods of the World. Woodworkers Resource Exotic Hardwoods, USA. http://www.exotichardwoods-africa.com/blackwoodafrican.htm.

Ghazanfar S, 1989. Savanna Plants. London: Macmillan.

Gillet JB; Polhill RM and Verdourt B, 1971. Leguminosae Part 3, sub-family Papilionoidae. In: Flora of Tropical East Africa. London: Crown Agents.

Goldsmith B; Carter DT, 1981. The indigenous timbers of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Bulletin of Forestry Research, 9.

Gordon T, 1972. Indigenous trees of Rhodesia: Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. and Perr. The Rhodesia Science News, 6:68

Gregory AM; Ball SMJ; Eziefula UE, 1999. Tanzanian Mpingo 98 full report. Cambridge: Cambridge Mpingo Project, Fauna and Flora International.

Gundidza M; Gaza N, 1993. Antimicrobial activity of Dalbergia melanoxylon extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 40(2):127-130; 16 ref.

Hamza KFS; Opulukwa MJ; Mahonge CP, 2001. Utilisation of Dalbergia melanoxylon in Tanzania. A case study of Nichingwea district. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood..Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Haughton-Sheppard PC, 1958. A note on African Blackwood - Dalbergia melanoxylon. Emp. For. Rev. 37 (3), (327-30).

Hedgerg I; Edwards S, 1989. Flora of Ethiopia. Vol. 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. National Herbarium, Ethiopia and Uppsala University, Sweden.

Hines DA; Eckman K, 1993. Indigenous multipurpose Trees of Tanzania: uses and economic benefits to the people. Cultural Survival Canada.

Hogberg P, 1986. Nitrogen-fixation and nutrient relations in savanna woodland trees (Tanzania). Journal of Applied Ecology, 23(2):675-688.

Houerou HN le, 1980. The role of browse in the Sahelian and Sudanian zones. In: Houerou HN le, ed. Browse in Africa: The Current State of Knowledge. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: International Livestock Centre for Africa, 83-100.

Iddi S, 2001. Opening Speech, Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Jenkins M; Oldfield S; Aylett T, 2002. International Trade in African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Kamundi D, 2000. A Red Data List assessment for Dalbergia melanoxylon in Malawi. SABONET News 5(1):35.

Katende AB; Lye KA, 2004. The distribution of the ebony family. Uganda African Journal of Ecology, 42(Suppl. 1):46–47.

Keay RWJ, 1989. Trees of Nigeria. 1989, Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.

Kemp PB, 1951. The susceptibility of wood to termite attack. E. Afr. agric. J. 16 (3), (122-3). 3 refs.

Khan MR, 2001. Effect of iodine vapour treatment on seeds of some forest trees in Western Maharashtra. Advances in Plant Sciences, 14(2):467-470.

Kyungpook, 2004. Dalbergia melanoxylon. Daegu, Korea Wood Anatomy Lab, Kyungpook National University. http://bh.kyungpook.ac.kr/~sjpark/index.html. http://bh.kyungpook.ac.kr/~sjpark/st4-2-3-2.htm.

Ladipo DO, 1994. Dalbergia species of west Africa: botany, distribution and potential for agroforestry. In: Westley SB, Roshetko JM, eds. Dalbergia: Proceedings of an international workshop. Nitrogen Fixing tree Research Reports, Special Issue 1994, 27-37.

Lock JM, 1989. Legumes of Africa. A check-list. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Lovett J, 1987. Mpingo – the African blackwood. Swara, 10:27–28.

Mailimbwe RE; Epaphra E, 2001. Dalbergia melanoxylon: an Overview of Regeneration and Management. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Malimbwi RE; Luoga EJ; Hofstad O; Mugasha AG; Valen JS, 2000. Prevalence and standing volume of Dalbergia melanoxylon in coastal and inland sites of southern Tanzania. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 12(2):336-347; 22 ref.

Marshall N; Mulolani D; Sangalakula L, 2000. A preliminary assessment of Malawi’s woodcarving industry. A TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa report. Harare, Zimbabwe: TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa.

Mbuya LP; Msanga HP; Ruffo CK; Birnie A; Tengnas B, 1994. Useful trees and shrubs for Tanzania: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook: Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi.

Moisés NO, 2002. African blackwood - Dalbergia melanoxylon in the province of Cabo Delgado. In: Sustainable Production of African blackwood Dalbergia melanoxylon. Report of Technical Workshop, Pemba, Mozambique, 25-26. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Moore K; Hall J, 1987. Report of a mission to assess the management and conservation of Dalbergia melanoxylon, or the mpingo, in Tanzania. Nairobi, Kenya: UNEP.

Mpingo Conservation Project, 2004. The Mpingo Conservation Project. http:// www.mpingoconservation.org.

Mugasha AG, 1978. The effects of planting season, different planting materials and weeding methods on early performance of Dalbergia melanoxylon at Kwamarukanga, Korogwe, Tanzania. Tanzania Silviculture Research Note,43:14.

Mugasha AG, 1983. The effects of planting season, different planting materials and weeding methods on early performance of Dalbergia melanoxylon at Kwamarukanga, Korogwe, Tanzania. Tanzania Silviculture Research Note, No. 43, i + 14 pp.; 8 ref.

Mugasha AG; Mruma SO, 1983. Growth of Dalbergia melanoxylon in natural woodland and trial plots in Tanzania. Tanzania Silviculture Technical Note, No. 59, 11 pp.; 11 ref.

Munyanziza E; Wiersum KF, 1999. Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor. Vol 7(2):10-13. Centre for International Research and Advisory Networks.

Ndossi; Kindeketa W; Epaphra E; Kwisthout H; Harrison P, 2001. Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) incorprating Mpingo Working Group. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Noad TC; Birnie A, 1989. Trees in Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: General Printers Ltd.

Nshubemuki L, 1993. Dalbergia melanoxylon: valuable wood from a neglected tree. NFT Highlights, No. 93-05, 2 pp.; 9 ref.

Nshubemuki L, 1994. Recent progress in silviculture research on Dalbergia melanoxylon in Tanzania. In: Westley SB, Roshetko JM, eds. Dalbergia: Proceedings of an international workshop. Nitrogen Fixing tree Research Reports special Issue 1994, 48-57.

Palmer E; Pitman N, 1972. Trees of Southern Africa : covering all known indigenous species in the Republic of South Africa, South-West Africa, Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland. Volumes 1 & 2. Cape Town, South Africa: Balkema AA.

Puhakka M, 1991. Inventory of Dalbergia melanoxylon (mpingo) in the Mtwara Region: Present State of Resources and Perspectives for its Sustainable Use in the Future. Unpublished Report. Turku, Finland: Turku-Mtwara Friendship Association.

Read M, 1993. Ebonies and rosewoods: requiem or revival? 1993, 16 pp.

Redhead JF; Temu AB, 1981. Valued timber but neglected tree: mpingo (Dalbergia melanoxylon). Tanzania Association of Foresters Newsletter, 2:8-9.

Riis M, 2001. UTUMI – Village Based Forest and Woodland Management Project in the Lindi Region. Technical Workshop Report: Sustainable Production of African Blackwood. Cambridge, UK: Fauna and Flora International.

Sangalakula L, 1999. TRAFFIC examines the trade in woodcarvings in Malawi. TRAFFIC Dispatches 12, 1999.

Schmitt S; Hamilton A, 2001. Trip report – input into the development of a WWF Tanzania Forest Programme. Gland, Switzerland: WWF International.

Sharman H, 1995. Investigation into the sustainable management of a tropical timber tree species using Dalbergia melanoxylon as a case study. MSc Thesis. UK: University of Edinburgh.

SoundWood, 2004. SoundWood. http:// www.soundwood.org.

Storrs AEG, 1982. More about trees (a sequel to 'know your trees'). Interesting facts and uses of some common Zambian trees including a selection of honey recipes. Ndola, Zambia: The Forest Department.

UNEP, 1988. Don’t Stop the Music-Save the Mpingo. Nairobi, Kenya: UNEP.

Vales MA; Munoz MC; Esteban LC, 1999. Dalbergia melanoxylum Guillemin and Perrottet. Especies Maderables Cites, version 1.2000. Cordoba, Argentina: Universidad De Cordoba. http://www.uco.es/organiza/servicios/jardin/cd1/Maderas%20CITES/dalberme.htm.

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Vogt K, 1996. A field worker's guide to the identification, propagation and uses of common trees and shrubs of dryland Sudan. vi + 167 pp.; [Also available in Arabic]; 38 ref. UK: SOS Sahel International (UK).

von Maydell HJ, 1983. Arbres et arbustes du Sahel. Leurs Caractéristiques et leurs utilisations [Trees and shrubs of the Sahel: characteristics and uses.]. Schriftenreihe der GTZ, No. 147, 531 pp.; many col. pl.; many ref. Eschborn, Germany: GTZ.

von Maydell HJ, 1986. Trees and shrubs of the Sahel, their characteristics and uses. Eschborn, Germany: Schriftenreihe der Deutsche Gesellschaft fur technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).

Woods B; Calnan DC, 1976. Toxic woods. British Journal of Dermatology, 94(Suppl. 13):97 pp.; PR; many ref.

World Agroforestry Centre, 2004. Dalbergia melanoxylon - Agroforestree database. http://www.worldagroforestry.org/Sites/TreeDBS/Aft/Print.cfm?SpID=643.

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Distribution Maps

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