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An island view of endemic rarity—Environmental drivers and consequences for nature conservation

Authors: Severin D. H. Irl; Andreas H. Schweiger; Félix M. Medina; José María Fernández-Palacios; David E. V. Harter; Anke Jentsch; Antonello Provenzale; +2 Authors

An island view of endemic rarity—Environmental drivers and consequences for nature conservation

Abstract

[Main conclusion] Both AE and SIE rarity on La Palma show a clear spatial pattern, with hotspots of endemic rarity found at high elevations and in rare climates, presumably owing to geographical and climatic constraints and possibly anthropogenic pressure (e.g., land use, introduced herbivores, fire). Areas of high rarity estimates coincide with the distribution and extent of PAs on La Palma, especially since the recent addition of the Natura 2000 sites. The hypervolume approach is a promising tool to estimate species range sizes, and can be applied on all scales where point/plot data are available.

[Methods] We recorded all present endemic vascular plant species in 1,212 plots covering the entire island. We calculated endemic rarity (corrected range-rarity richness for endemics) using a rarity estimation approach based on kernel density estimations (hypervolume approach). We performed a sensitivity analysis based on multiple linear regressions and relative importance estimations of environmental drivers to estimate the performance of the hypervolume-based rarity estimation compared to standard methods (occurrence frequency, convex hulls, alpha hulls).

[Aim] Rarity—an important measure for conservation biogeography—can vary over many orders of magnitude. However, it is unclear which regional-scale abiotic conditions drive processes affecting rarity of endemic species on islands. To support conservation efforts, we (1) assess the main abiotic drivers of endemic rarity, (2) determine how well existing protected areas (PAs) coincide with hotspots of endemic rarity and (3) introduce and evaluate a new hypervolume-based rarity estimator.

[Results] Climate variables (mean annual temperature, climatic rarity, precipitation variability) best explained archipelago endemic (AE) and single-island endemic (SIE) rarity. Existing PAs covered the majority of AE and SIE rarity, especially national and natural parks as well as the Natura 2000 sites. In our study system, hypervolumes performed better than standard measures of range size.

This work contributed to and was partially supported by the European H2020 Project 641762 ECOPOTENTIAL: Improving future ecosystem benefits through Earth Observations.

[Location] La Palma (Canary Islands).

© 2017 The Authors.

Peer Reviewed

Country
Spain
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Range (biology) Species distribution Abiotic component geography.geographical_feature_category Ecology Geography Archipelago Endemism Species richness Natura 2000 Island ecology

Keywords

COINCIDENCE, hipervolumen, island ecology, conservation biogeography, Hypervolume, LA-PALMA, hypervolume, Conservation biogeography, La Palma Island, patrones evolutivos, CANARY-ISLANDS, SPECIES RICHNESS, especies de plantas endémicas, Island ecology, In situ data, Corrected weighted endemism, biogeografía de la conservación, evolutionary pattern, Endemic plant species, endemic plant species, Natura 2000, PLANT, ELEVATION, SPECIATION, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, coastal/marine, Protected areas, Evolutionary pattern, áreas protegidas, corrected weighted endemism, PATTERNS, HERBIVORES, protected areas, VEGETATION, ecología insular

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This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
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impulse
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