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Abstract Detail



Biogeography

Salywon, Andrew [1], King, Matthew [1], Hodgson, Wendy [1], McCue, Kimberlie [1].

GIS-Based Analysis of Endemic Plant Distributions in Arizona.

Arizona’s flora is one of the most diverse in the United States. Over four thousand species of vascular plants, four percent of which are endemic (ca. 170 taxa), occur in the state. This diversity is found within fifteen biotic communities ranging from low elevation Sonoran Desert to forests and alpine vegetation of high elevation mountains. Because many of the endemic plants are also rare, knowledge about their distribution patterns is essential for informed conservation efforts. Furthermore, patterns of endemicity can provide insight into the evolution of plant communities in the state. Drawing on the power of digitized natural history collections, we assembled data on the endemic plants of Arizona in order to identify hotspots of endemic richness. Online collections data from over 30 herbaria were obtained from SEINet (Southwest Environmental Information Network - http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet). These data were supplemented by observational data from Natural Heritage programs and the National Parks Service, resulting in a dataset of over 10,000 georeferenced points. Hotspots of endemism were identified and compared using two different methodologies. First, patterns of endemic richness were mapped by summarizing the collections data in 10 km2 grid cells. Secondly, species distribution models were generated for each endemic taxon using MaxEnt. These models were stacked on one another to generate a map of predicted endemic richness for comparison with the raw collections data. Our results provide the first quantitative and predictive analyses of endemic plants for Arizona. Grid-based analyses clearly show centers of endemic richness dispersed throughout the state, but with highest levels in the central and northern Arizona (i.e., the Grand Canyon, the area between Flagstaff and Sedona, the Verde Valley, the Matzatal and Sierra Ancha Mountains). The predictive stacked model was similar to grid-based analysis, but also predicted the base of the Mogollon Rim and the Santa Catalina Mountains as potential endemic plant hotspots. A comparison of the number of endemic species per biotic community area has also identified habitats in which endemics are either over- or under-represented. These analyses provide essential baseline knowledge to land management agencies for use in prioritizing future efforts in research, monitoring, and active management.

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1 - Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ, 85008-3490, USA

Keywords:
Arizona
endemic species
GIS
Maxent.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 50
Location: Magnolia/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: 50007
Abstract ID:826
Candidate for Awards:None


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