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      Endemic angiosperm lineages in Mexico: hotspots for conservation Translated title: Linajes de angiospermas endémicas en México: zonas de alto endemismo para la conservación


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          As a megadiverse country, Mexico harbors 4 to 8% of the flora of the world and of this, 51% is endemic. There is concern because several factors are impeding its conservation. In this paper, areas of endemism for the flowering plants of Mexico are identified to prioritize regions for conservation. To categorize zones for preservation, the approach followed takes biodiversity, weighted endemism and evolutionary history into account. Lineages of angiosperms, families, genera, and formal or informal groups within genera previously retrieved as monophyletic are selected to represent evolutionary history in equivalent spatial units. A database with 9416 entries based on specimens of species belonging to 259 monophyletic groups of angiosperms from Mexico was compiled, and their presence-absence recorded for every unit area. Species richness and weighted endemism index was calculated for each of these units. The results indicate that the majority of the regions with the highest indices of endemism have a dry climate with xeric vegetation, with the exception of two areas of tropical and temperate forests. They are: the northeastern rosette scrub in Nuevo León and Coahuila, gypsum grasslands in San Luis Potosí, the Sierra Gorda in Queréraro, Tolantongo in Hidalgo, the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley in Puebla and Oaxaca, El Salto in Durango, Sierra de Quila in Jalisco, a western portion of the Balsas River Basin in Michoacán, Guerrero, Morelos and State of Mexico, the Tehuantepec area in Oaxaca, the Central Depression of Chiapas and El Triunfo in Chiapas. Some of the areas of endemism in the Chihuahuan Desert, Balsas River Basin, the Central Depression of Chiapas and the southern area of Oaxaca are not sufficiently protected. Approximately 340 species were microendemic, i.e. restricted to a single quadrat, and the Cactaceae account for the majority of the species on the Mexican Red List.

          Translated abstract

          México está considerado como uno de los países megadiversos y en su territorio se encuentran entre 4 y 8% del número de total de especies de plantas del mundo, de las cuales 51% son endémicas. Existe una gran preocupación sobre la conservación de la flora mexicana, ya que se han detectado varias actividades y factores que la amenazan. En este trabajo se identifican áreas de endemismo para las angiospermas de México con el objetivo de priorizar regiones para conservación. Para categorizar estas zonas se sigue el enfoque que toma en cuenta la biodiversidad, el índice de endemismo ponderado y la historia evolutiva. Se identificaron los linajes de angiospermas, ya sean familias, géneros, o grupos infragenéricos con o sin estatus taxonómico que previamente se habían determinado como monofiléticos para representar la historia evolutiva en unidades espaciales equivalentes. Se construyó una base de datos de 9416 registros de especies de 259 grupos monofiléticos de angiospermas restringidas a México y se registró su presencia en estas áreas. Para cada una se calculó la riqueza de taxones y el índice de endemismo ponderado. Los resultados muestran que la mayoría de las zonas de más alto endemismo están en climas secos, con vegetación xérica, con dos excepciones de vegetación tropical y templada. Los índices de endemismo ponderado más altos se localizaron en: el área norte de matorral rosetófilo en Nuevo León y Coahuila, matorrales gipsófilos en San Luis Potosí, la Sierra Gorda en Querérato, Tolantongo en Hidalgo, el Valle de Tehuacán-Cuicatlán en Puebla y Oaxaca, El Salto en Durango, la Sierra de Quila en Jalisco, la zona oeste de la Depresión del Balsas en Michoacán, Guerrero, Morelos y el Estado de México, la zona de Tehuantepec en Oaxaca y El Triunfo en Chiapas. Algunas áreas de endemismo en el Desierto Chihuahuense, en la Cuenca del Balsas y en la Depresión de Chiapas, así como del sur de Oaxaca no están suficientemente protegidas. Se registraron aproximadamente 340 especies con distribución restringida a un solo cuadrante y de éstas la mayoría de las que se incluyen en la lista de taxones amenazados de México pertenecen a las Cactaceae.

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          Global hotspots of species richness are not congruent with endemism or threat.

          Biodiversity hotspots have a prominent role in conservation biology, but it remains controversial to what extent different types of hotspot are congruent. Previous studies were unable to provide a general answer because they used a single biodiversity index, were geographically restricted, compared areas of unequal size or did not quantitatively compare hotspot types. Here we use a new global database on the breeding distribution of all known extant bird species to test for congruence across three types of hotspot. We demonstrate that hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism do not show the same geographical distribution. Only 2.5% of hotspot areas are common to all three aspects of diversity, with over 80% of hotspots being idiosyncratic. More generally, there is a surprisingly low overall congruence of biodiversity indices, with any one index explaining less than 24% of variation in the other indices. These results suggest that, even within a single taxonomic class, different mechanisms are responsible for the origin and maintenance of different aspects of diversity. Consequently, the different types of hotspots also vary greatly in their utility as conservation tools.
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            Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots.

            One of the biggest challenges for conservation biology is to provide conservation planners with ways to prioritize effort. Much attention has been focused on biodiversity hotspots. However, the conservation of evolutionary process is now also acknowledged as a priority in the face of global change. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a biodiversity index that measures the length of evolutionary pathways that connect a given set of taxa. PD therefore identifies sets of taxa that maximize the accumulation of 'feature diversity'. Recent studies, however, concluded that taxon richness is a good surrogate for PD. Here we show taxon richness to be decoupled from PD, using a biome-wide phylogenetic analysis of the flora of an undisputed biodiversity hotspot--the Cape of South Africa. We demonstrate that this decoupling has real-world importance for conservation planning. Finally, using a database of medicinal and economic plant use, we demonstrate that PD protection is the best strategy for preserving feature diversity in the Cape. We should be able to use PD to identify those key regions that maximize future options, both for the continuing evolution of life on Earth and for the benefit of society.
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              Recent assembly of the Cerrado, a neotropical plant diversity hotspot, by in situ evolution of adaptations to fire.

              The relative importance of local ecological and larger-scale historical processes in causing differences in species richness across the globe remains keenly debated. To gain insight into these questions, we investigated the assembly of plant diversity in the Cerrado in South America, the world's most species-rich tropical savanna. Time-calibrated phylogenies suggest that Cerrado lineages started to diversify less than 10 Mya, with most lineages diversifying at 4 Mya or less, coinciding with the rise to dominance of flammable C4 grasses and expansion of the savanna biome worldwide. These plant phylogenies show that Cerrado lineages are strongly associated with adaptations to fire and have sister groups in largely fire-free nearby wet forest, seasonally dry forest, subtropical grassland, or wetland vegetation. These findings imply that the Cerrado formed in situ via recent and frequent adaptive shifts to resist fire, rather than via dispersal of lineages already adapted to fire. The location of the Cerrado surrounded by a diverse array of species-rich biomes, and the apparently modest adaptive barrier posed by fire, are likely to have contributed to its striking species richness. These findings add to growing evidence that the origins and historical assembly of species-rich biomes have been idiosyncratic, driven in large part by unique features of regional- and continental-scale geohistory and that different historical processes can lead to similar levels of modern species richness.

                Author and article information

                Acta botánica mexicana
                Act. Bot. Mex
                Instituto de Ecología A.C., Centro Regional del Bajío (Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico )
                July 2012
                : 100
                : 293-315
                [02] San Luis Potosí orgnameUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí orgdiv1Instituto de Investigación en Zonas Desérticas Mexico
                [01] Xalapa Veracruz orgnameInstituto de Ecología Mexico
                S0187-71512012000300010 S0187-7151(12)00010000010

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 88, Pages: 23
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                endemismo,vegetación xérica,Mega-México,Desierto Chihuahuense,Cactaceae,xeric vegetation,Mega-Mexico,endemism,Chihuahuan Desert


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