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      Applying a floristic originality index in tropical forests of south Sinaloa, Mexico

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      Neotropical Biology and Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Sinaloa is among the states of Mexico harboring the highest deforestation rates. Reforestation programs have been put up in south Sinaloa with species chosen for their high seedling rates, structural importance or strong restoration value. However, species criteria such as level of endemism as well as rarity appear to be underestimated. Eight sampling sites were randomly selected and a botanical survey was carried out at least every month from 2015 to 2017. In order to rank species over conservation stakes, a Floristic Originality Index method was elaborated using species level of endemism, rarity and conservation status. The floristic inventory enabled the identification of a set of 250 species with the Fabaceae being the most represented family with 51 species. Using the Floristic Originality Index, a subset of 51 species was selected as priority for conservation along with 23 other species all displaying characteristics of “framework” species. Features of reproduction and types of ideal soil conditions for reforestation are presented for each species. The method developed to determine floristic originality has proven a set of most vulnerable and rare species to select “priority” and “framework” tree species able to restore forests structure and biodiversity as well as ecosystem functions. This evaluation is made from a conservation biology point of view and appears to be well adapted for studies at a local scale.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Proximate Causes and Underlying Driving Forces of Tropical Deforestation

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            Checklist of the native vascular plants of Mexico

            Abstract: An updated inventory of the native vascular plants of Mexico records 23,314 species, distributed in 2,854 genera, 297 families, and 73 orders. The flora includes 1,039 species of ferns and lycophytes, 149 gymnosperms, and 22,126 angiosperms. On average, the number of synonyms per species is 1.3 (mode = 1). The number of species places Mexico as the country with the fourth largest floristic richness in the world, although among the non-insular countries, by its number of endemic species (about 50%) is second only surpassed by South Africa. The species distribution among higher taxonomic categories, and the richness and endemism values in the 32 states of Mexico are discussed. This compilation allows us to assess the flora's contribution to the overall Mexican biodiversity.
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              Commonness, population depletion and conservation biology.

              Species conservation practice, as opposed to principle, generally emphasizes species at risk of imminent extinction. This results in priority lists principally of those with small populations and/or geographical ranges. However, recent work emphasizes the importance of common species to ecosystems. Even relatively small proportional declines in their abundance can result in large absolute losses of individuals and biomass, occurrences significantly disrupting ecosystem structure, function and services. Here, we argue that combined with evidence of dramatic declines in once common species, this suggests the need to pay more attention to such depletions. Complementing the focus on extinction risk, we highlight important implications for conservation, including the need to identify, monitor and alleviate significant depletion events.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neotropical Biology and Conservation
                NBC
                Pensoft Publishers
                2236-3777
                December 18 2019
                December 18 2019
                : 14
                : 4
                : 539-557
                Article
                10.3897/neotropical.14.e49166
                © 2019

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