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Spatial patterns of the Iberian and Balearic endemic vascular flora

AuthorsBuira, Antoni; Aedo, Carlos ; Medina, Leopoldo
KeywordsBaetic System
Areas of endemism
Endemic genera
K-means analysis
Mediterranean endemic flora
Issue Date2017
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
CitationBiodiversity and Conservation 26: 479- 508 (2017)
AbstractThe Iberian flora has a high degree of originality (1328 endemic species, 24% of endemism), comparable to other regions in the Mediterranean Basin. The richness of Iberian endemic species is unevenly distributed; the greatest diversity is found in the main mountain ranges although the southwestern Atlantic coast and specially the Balearic Islands are rich in range-restricted endemic species. The largest number of endemic genera is found in the northwestern mountains, which might have acted as a refugium area. The Baetic System, which includes nearly half (46%) of the total Iberian endemic species, is by far the richest region of the territory. Its endemic flora is characterized by the great richness of narrow endemics and the high species turnover rate. The k-means partitioning analysis enables us to identify 11 units, generally well defined by the natural geographic features. The clusters including the northwestern mountains, the Cantabrian Mountains, the southwestern coast and especially the Balearic Islands, the Pyrenees and the Baetic System are compact and consist of a high proportion of diagnostic species, and can therefore be considered areas of endemism on a large scale. The regionalization reflects a primary longitudinal division of Iberia between a basic eastern and an acidic western region, but also partly reveals a climatic division between Eurosiberian and Mediterranean regions. Southeastern Iberia seems to be an important center of differentiation for several typically Mediterranean genera (e.g. Centaurea, Linaria, Armeria, Teucrium and Thymus), but other large genera are also highly diversified.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1254-z
issn: 1572-9710
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