Numerous Neotropical Magnolia species are endangered and red-listed by the IUCN. Here we highlight major results from over a decade of research on endangered magnolias in western Mexico. Particularly, we compare three species of Magnolia (M. pugana, M. pacifica and M. vallartensis) along a large-scale continentality and moisture gradients, in terms of a) their morphological adaptations, b) genetic structure, diversity, and differentiation, c) reproductive phenology, and d) floral scents and their floral visitors. Fieldwork along this gradient unveiled two new species of Magnolia sect. Magnolia; M. granbarrancae and M. talpana. We found that most continental populations have a higher extinction risk than those with greater maritime influence, due to their lower genetic diversity, and greater fragmentation, isolation, and water stress. Also, these populations are more vulnerable to the environmental conditions predicted with the global warming climate scenarios. We share fieldwork experience and advise on pre-germination treatments and seed dormancy. We propose an ex-situ and in-situ conservation strategy, identify new challenges, and suggest future directions of collaborative work as a global Magnolia conservation consortium.
Part of the book: Endangered Plants