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An assessment of the endemic spermatophytes, pteridophytes and bryophytes of the French Overseas Territories: towards a better conservation outlook

Abstract : A broad range of climatic and biogeographical conditions are represented in the French Overseas Territories, from sub-polar to equatorial, resulting in a high diversity of endemic species. We mobilized data from herbaria, floras, checklists, literature, the expertise of botanists and plant ecologists to compile the most complete dataset on endemic vascular plants and bryophytes in the 15 French Overseas Territories. To date, 3748 spermatophytes (seed plants), 244 pteridophytes (ferns and lycophytes) and 448 bryophytes are strictly endemic to the overseas territories. New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Réunion harbour the highest numbers of strictly endemic species, yet French Guiana and the French Antilles harbour high numbers of regional endemic species due to their proximity with other territories. The endemic flora of these territories is highly threatened. In particular, 51% of strictly endemic spermatophytes are threatened and many species at risk belong to Rubiaceae and Orchidaceae families. Around 82% and 69% of strict and regional endemic spermatophytes and pteridophytes are found in the Paris herbaria. Only 34% of endemic bryophytes have their label information fully databased so that their total number in Paris herbaria is not known. Databasing the remaining specimens in the collection will greatly enhance future research and conservation projects. To facilitate the use of the information we compiled, we provide a publicly searchable dataset of the checklist. This study not only provides a picture of the flora of French overseas territories; it also identifies gaps in knowledge on which future research efforts in systematics, ecology and conservation could focus.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-03217441
Contributor : Germinal Rouhan <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 7:29:30 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 20, 2021 - 12:38:01 PM

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Simon Véron, Carlos Rodrigues-Vaz, Elise Lebreton, Claudine Ah-Peng, Vincent Boullet, et al.. An assessment of the endemic spermatophytes, pteridophytes and bryophytes of the French Overseas Territories: towards a better conservation outlook. Biodiversity and Conservation, Springer Verlag, 2021, 30, pp.2097-2124. ⟨10.1007/s10531-021-02186-8⟩. ⟨mnhn-03217441⟩

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