Distribution, congruence, and hotspots of higher plants in China

  • Zhao L
  • Li J
  • Liu H
 et al. 
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Identifying biodiversity hotspots has become a central issue in setting up priority protection areas, especially as financial resources for biological diversity conservation are limited. Taking China’s Higher Plants Red List (CHPRL), including Bryophytes, Ferns, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms, as the data source, we analyzed the geographic patterns of species richness, endemism, and endangerment via data processing at a fine grid-scale with an average edge length of 30 km based on three aspects of richness information: species richness, endemic species richness, and threatened species richness. We sought to test the accuracy of hotspots used in identifying conservation priorities with regard to higher plants. Next, we tested the congruence of the three aspects and made a comparison of the similarities and differences between the hotspots described in this paper and those in previous studies. We found that over 90% of threatened species in China are concentrated. While a high spatial congruence is observed among the three measures, there is a low congruence between two different sets of hotspots. Our results suggest that biodiversity information should be considered when identifying biological hotspots. Other factors, such as scales, should be included as well to develop biodiversity conservation plans in accordance with the region’s specific conditions.

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