The role of criteria in selecting important areas for conservation in biodiversity-rich territories



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Sánchez de Dios, Rut and Cabal, Ciro and Domínguez Lozano, Felipe and Sáinz Ollero, Helios and Moreno Sáiz, Juan Carlos (2017) The role of criteria in selecting important areas for conservation in biodiversity-rich territories. Diversity and Distributions, 23 . pp. 368-380. ISSN 1366-9516

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Aim: To improve our knowledge of the process of selection of important plant areas (IPAs), a recent requirement of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The study was conducted at a hotspot of plant conservation in the European continent, using a comprehensive database of plant species distribution in the area.
Location: Spain.
Methods: We used range distribution data for 3218 vascular plants found in Spain, in the form of 10 km UTM squares, totalling 169,124 species occurrences across 5508 UTM cells. We identified IPAs by scoring threat status, endemism, rarity, phylogeny and species richness. We then performed two different analyses, with and without incorporating the species richness score of
every square. Finally, a null model was used to obtain a general pattern of species occurrences, we computed an index of occurrence richness (SI), and then we selected a number of specific territories of different sizes to reveal differences in sampling effort within the study area.
Results: We identified IPAs in Spain according to the proposed scoring method. We detected a positive relationship among richness and total score calculated with the rest of the criteria. However, endemism and threat status produced certain specific effects for species-poor squares. Regarding sample bias, we detected over- and under-recorded areas. This bias seems to be due to the accumulation of field prospecting in species-rich areas in detriment to poor areas.
Main conclusions: We envisage two different approaches to address IPA selection in hotspots. First, we advocate a complementary scoring-mapping method for areas where a relatively large amount of range distribution data and plant knowledge is available. Secondly, as richness per se encompasses a great amount of biogeographical information, we suggest using species richness or any other environmental surrogate to delineate preliminary IPAs in poorly known but species-rich territories.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:important plant areas, phylogenetic diversity, rarity, sample bias, species richness, threatened plants
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Botany
Medical sciences > Biology > Plant physiology
Medical sciences > Biology > Environment
ID Code:43918
Deposited On:14 Jul 2017 15:59
Last Modified:09 Apr 2019 09:16

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