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Title: Coconuts in the Americas
Other Titles: Cocoteros en las Américas
Authors: Clement, Charles Roland
Zizumbo-Villarreal, Daniel
Brown, Cecil H.
Ward, R. Gerard
Alves-Pereira, Alessandro
Harries, Hugh C.
Keywords: Cocos Nucifera
Issue Date: 2013
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Botanical Review
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 79, Número 3, Pags. 342-370
Abstract: It has been clearly established that the Portuguese introduced coconuts to the Cape Verde islands in 1499, and these supplied the Atlantic coasts and the Caribbean in the 1500s. By contrast, early 16th century reports of coconuts on the Pacific coast of Panama are controversial. Recent DNA analysis of modern coconut populations there shows them to be similar to Philippine varieties, agreeing with morphometric analysis. Hence, coconuts must have been brought by boat from the western Pacific, but no archaeological, ethnobotanical or linguistic evidence for pre-Columbian coconuts has been found. Thus, the most parsimonious explanation is that coconuts were introduced to Panama after Spanish conquest, as supported by DNA analysis and historical records of Spanish voyages. New collections along the Pacific coast, from Mexico to Colombia, are increasing the sampling for genetic analysis, and further work in the Philippines is suggested to test probable origins. Unless new archaeological discoveries prove otherwise, the strong hypothesis of Philippine origin should direct future research on the sources of American Pacific coast coconuts. © 2013 The New York Botanical Garden.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1007/s12229-013-9121-z
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