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Establishing a baseline of plant diversity and endemism on a neotropical mountain summit for future comparative studies assessing upward migration: an approach from biogeography and nature conservation

AuthorsSafont, Elisabet ; Rull, Valentí ; Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa ; Holst, Bruce K.; Huber, Otto; Nozawa, Shingo; Vivas, Yuribia; Silva, Argelia
KeywordsClimate change
Floristic survey
Guayana region
Plant invasion
Issue Date28-May-2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationSystematics and Biodiversity 12(3) :292-314 (2014)
AbstractClimate change is forcing many plant species to shift their range in search of adequate environmental conditions, being localized endemic species particularly at risk on mountain summits. The Pantepui biogeographic province, a set of flat-topped mountain summits (called tepuis) of northern South America, contains both high plant diversity and a high degree of endemism. Previous studies based on warming projections for the area suggested that half of the Pantepui endemic flora would disappear due to habitat loss by 2100. In this study, we selected one of the best-explored tepuis, Roraima-tepui, to establish the baseline of diversity and endemism for comparisons with historical data and future monitoring surveys, aimed at testing the hypothesis of upward migration of plants in response to global warming. We also analysed floristic and physiognomic features of the Eastern Tepui Chain (ETC, the mountain range where Roraima is located), and the phytogeographic patterns of both the ETC and Pantepui. The Roraima summit contains 227 species, including 44 new records, 13 exotic species (some of them with high invasive potential), and at least one species new to science. At the ETC level, Roraima is the tepui with highest species richness and degree of endemism, and shows a relatively high floristic similarity with Kukenán and Ilú. Herbaceous species dominate over shrubs on these tepuis, Tramen and Maringma, whereas on Yuruaní, Karaurín and Uei, they reach similar abundances. At the Pantepui level, endemic species have highly localized distribution patterns (17% local endemics). Conservation opportunities are evaluated in light of these results.
Description24 p. -- fot., gráf. -- Post-print del artículo publicado en Systematics and Biodiversity. Versión revisada y corregida.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2014.918061
Appears in Collections:(IBB) Artículos
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