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How many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species?

Rivers, Malin C., Taylor, Lin, Brummitt, Neil A., Meagher, Thomas R., Roberts, David L., Lughadh, Eimear Nic (2011) How many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species? Biological Conservation, 144 (10). pp. 2541-2547. ISSN 0006-3207. (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.014) (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 currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.014

Abstract

The distribution, ecology and conservation status of the majority of plant species are poorly known. One of the challenges ahead is to address this knowledge gap and give more emphasis to this important group of species that represents a critical component of earth’s biodiversity. Full conservation assessments require expert knowledge of the group concerned, but for the majority of plant species, especially those from the tropics, the best source of knowledge is specimens housed within herbaria. Digitisation projects are underway to render information from this important global biodiversity resource more accessible; the next step is to assemble and utilise these data to make better informed conservation decisions. One crucial question is: how many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species? Such information would inform and help to prioritise digitisation efforts. Using 11,461 herbarium records we assessed species geographic range to determine a preliminary conservation status of 661 endemic species of Leguminosae and Orchidaceae from Madagascar, following the IUCN criteria. By capturing 15 georeferenced specimens per species we produced range estimates for use in conservation assessments consistent with estimates based on all known specimens, for more than 95% of species. None of the threatened species were misclassified as not threatened, and less than 3% of species would receive conservation support as a result of being falsely identified as threatened. This approach can therefore help progress towards the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation target of a conservation assessment for each plant species, while reducing digitisation effort by up to half.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.014
Uncontrolled keywords: Conservation assessment; Herbarium specimen; Leguminosae; Madagascar; Orchidaceae; Threatened species
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2014 08:17 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:53 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38422 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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