Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Spatial distribution of species, genus and phylogenetic endemism in the vascular flora of New Zealand, and implications for conservation

Timothy R. Millar A B , Peter B. Heenan A C , Aaron D. Wilton A , Rob D. Smissen A and Ilse Breitwieser A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Landcare Research, PO Box 69040, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand.

B Plant & Food Research, Private Bag 4704, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.

C Corresponding author. Present address: Wildland Consultants, 238 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch 8244, New Zealand. Email: peter.heenan@wildlands.co.nz

Australian Systematic Botany 30(2) 134-147 https://doi.org/10.1071/SB16015
Submitted: 7 April 2016  Accepted: 22 June 2017   Published: 17 August 2017

Abstract

The present study aimed to detect and quantify centres of vascular plant species and genus endemism and genus phylogenetic endemism in the New Zealand archipelago and to assess the representation of these in the conservation estate. The presence of 2187 vascular plant species, comprising 213 141 georeferenced records, was mapped onto 0.12° grid cells and a genus-level phylogeny was constructed mainly from rbcL sequences used to calculate phylogenetic metrics. Previously identified centres of endemism were confirmed, and new areas of endemism were suggested. Patterns of endemism differ with taxonomic rank. Randomisations showed that the South Island mountains have greater species corrected weighted endemism (CWE) than expected, whereas the randomisations for genus CWE and genus corrected phylogenetic endemism (CPE) showed the northern half of the North Island and northern offshore islands to have greater endemism than expected. Consistent with the randomisations, the highest values of genus CWE and genus CPE predominantly occur in the northern North Island and offshore islands. Centres of species CWE, genus CWE and genus CPE, supported by randomisation analyses, overlap with the New Zealand conservation estate by 40.01, 29.52 and 19.12% respectively. Many areas of high endemism are often poorly protected, highlighting the urgency to consider the areas of endemism identified here in conservation policy, planning and management.

Additional keywords: archipelago, Biodiverse, biodiversity, biogeography, endemic, islands, phylogenetic diversity.


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