How many species of flowering plant are there?

Joppa, Lucas N. and Roberts, David L. and Pimm, Stuart L. (2011) How many species of flowering plant are there? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278 (1705). pp. 554-559. ISSN 0962-8452. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL


We estimate the probable number of flowering plants. First, we apply a model that explicitly incorporates taxonomic effort over time to estimate the number of as-yet-unknown species. Second, we ask taxonomic experts their opinions on how many species are likely to be missing, on a family-by-family basis. The results are broadly comparable. We show that the current number of species should grow by between 10 and 20 per cent. There are, however, interesting discrepancies between expert and model estimates for some families, suggesting that our model does not always completely capture patterns of taxonomic activity. The as-yet-unknown species are probably similar to those taxonomists have described recently—overwhelmingly rare and local, and disproportionately in biodiversity hotspots, where there are high levels of habitat destruction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: angiosperms; biodiversity hotspots; taxonomic effort; threatened species; total number of species; unknown species
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology
Depositing User: Shelley Malekia
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012 13:02
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 14:49
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):