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Cuba to Host Int'l Event on Magnolias Floral Species
The Third Int'l Symposium of Magnolias Floral Species will take place for the first time in Cuba and in Latin America (November 29th thru December 3rd).

The event will be organized by the local Sociedad Botanica de Cuba (Cuban Botanic Society, literally), the International Society of Magnolias and the Plantlife Conservation Society, along with the sponsorship by some international and domestic institutions.

In previous occasions, the prestigious event has taken place in China that is a nation with great collections of Asian and Latin American magnolias flowers. This has enabled that important that academicians, researchers and magnolia-flower lovers of this sphere to organized the event in Cuba to advance in respect of the knowledge about the priorities of the related research and preservation of this group of plants, given the great interest caused by the magnolias flowers which grow in Cuba.

During the meeting, there will be some presentations linked with the systematic, molecular biology, plant pathology and the magnolia flowers' evolution, as well as the specifications of its culture, ecology and preservation.

"There are some 300 specie of magnolia flowers. It is about trees and bushes which are always green and grow in the east and south of Asia, the south region of North America, Central America and the Caribbean." Ms. Alejandro Palmarola, who is the President of the Cuban Botanic Society, expressed.

The Caribbean varied specie has some characteristics which make them different, and that is why, the ones from Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico has been often grouped into different kinds of them, including the nation's endemic genders." The outstanding researcher from the National Botanic garden, pointed out.

"Likewise, they are weird species in the ecosystems where they live, generally, which make them very vulnerable plants to the loss of their habitat as a consequence of the human development or the climate change and it is perhaps due to that reason that the majority of the magnolias flowers are endangered and on the brink of extinction. "He pointed out.

After asking about the magnolias flowers in Cuba, He highlighted: "We have up to six endemic species, although it is planted the one known as Magnolia grandiflora and it has been reported the invasion of exotic specie of that group known as Magnolia champaca."

"The center of diversification of the Cuban Magnolias species is certainly located to the north east of the nation, especially in the Moa-Toa region and in the always green and the rain forests above 400 meters above the sea level." He said.

Alejandro Palmarola pointed out: "We have the Magnolia cubensis species that is a tree that reaches the 25 meters high and it is locally known as 'mantequero' in the Central region of Cuba and as 'marañon de Sierra Alta' in the eastern region which is an endangered species on the brink of its extinction due to the cutting and fragmentation of its habitat."

"In addition, we have the Magnolia cristalensis species in the mountainous region to the north which is a tree that reaches the 17 meters and it is known as 'laurel' by the local population. It grows in rain forests and clouded ones between the 700 and 1100 meters above the sea level; it is considered to be in danger of extinction given its wood is highly valued, so its populations has disappeared due to the cutting, deforestation and mining exploitation. It is found in the Alejandro Humbolt and Pico Cristal national parks, as well as in the 'Cuchillas del Toa' protected area."

Finally, Alejandro Palmarola said to the local Radio Alejandro Palmarola that it has been discovered an unusual species of Magnolia flower in Majaguillar swamp, which is located to the north of Marti municipality. It had first been considered as an exclusive species from the United States: the Magnolia virginiana one.

"This species is also an endangered one due to the building of roads for that region's oil extraction activity, the inappropriate forest work and frequent fires, and in spite of the Magnolia virginiana species is used in gardening in the United States and Europe, it is not harvested in Cuba yet by being a species with related and decorative potentialities to be introduced into the hotel gardening of the Cuban coastlines." Alejandro Palmarola said.

The third International symposium about the Magnoliaceae species, which will be held in Cuba in 2016, is sponsored by the Cuban Academy of Sciences, the local environmental agency, the National Botanic Garden, the National enterprise for the Protection of the Flora and Fauna and the National Protected Areas center. / By Lucia Sanz – RHC / Translated by Juna Carlos Caballero.

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