Cardoso P.,University of The Azores |
Cardoso P.,Smithsonian Institution |
Borges P.A.V.,University of The Azores |
Faria B.F.,Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Direccao Regional do Ambiente |
And 19 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010
Oceanic islands have been the grand stage of documented extinctions. In view of limited resources, efficient prioritization is crucial to avoid the extinction of taxa. This work lists the top 100 management priority species for the European archipelagos of the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands), taking into account both their protection priority and their management feasibility. Bryophytes, vascular plants, molluscs, arthropods and vertebrates were scored by species experts following two sets of criteria: (i) protection priority, including ecological value, singularity, public institutions' management responsibilities and social value; (ii) management feasibility, including threats knowledge and control feasibility, external socio-economical support for management and biological recovery potential. Environmental managers weighted the same criteria according to their management importance. Final species scores were determined by the combination of both species valuation and criteria weighting. Vascular plants dominate the Top 100 list, followed by arthropods and vertebrates. The majority of listed taxa are endemic to one archipelago or even to a single island. The management feasibility criteria did not dictate that all taxa must be eminently endangered, as for most of the species it should be relatively easy to control threats. The main advantages of this process are the independent participation of scientists and conservation managers, the inclusion of criteria on both protection priority and management feasibility and the taxonomically unbiased nature of the process. This study provides a potentially useful biodiversity conservation tool for the Macaronesian archipelagos that could be readily implemented by the respective regional governments in future legislation. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Stech M.,Leiden University |
Sim-Sim M.,University of Lisbon |
Luis L.,Museu Nacional de Historia Natural |
Fontinha S.,University of Madeira |
And 6 more authors.
Systematics and Biodiversity | Year: 2010
Relationships of the eight species of the liverwort genus Radula occurring in Portugal (mainland, the Madeira and Azores archipelagos), including the Macaronesian endemics R. jonesii and R. wichurae, were evaluated based on molecular, phytochemical and morphological-anatomical data. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses were performed with sequences from three plastid DNA markers (trnSGGA-rps4 spacer, rps4 gene, trnLUAA intron), volatile oil compounds, as well as qualitative morphological-anatomical characters. In addition, the molecular data were subjected to maximum likelihood analysis. The eight taxa, R. aquilegia, R. carringtonii, R. complanata, R. holtii, R. jonesii, R. lindenbergiana, R. nudicaulis and R. wichurae, can be clearly distinguished from each other, either by molecular data alone or by combination of characters from all three data sets. Radula aquilegia is monophyletic according to the molecular data, but shows considerable, yet undescribed intraspecific morphological and phytochemical variability. Recognition of R. complanata and R. lindenbergiana as separate species, previously based solely on the paroecious vs. dioecious sexual condition, is moderately supported by the molecular phylogenetic analyses and strongly supported by the phytochemical data. The Radula species, narrowly distributed in Macaronesia and Atlantic Europe, probably have two different origins. For Radula holtii and R. nudicaulis, connections with Radula species from the Neotropics are indicated. The other species, among them the two Macaronesian endemics, are closely related with the R. complanata/R. lindenbergiana complex, which is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. © 2010 The Natural History Museum.
Caujape-Castells J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria |
Tye A.,Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme |
Crawford D.J.,Biodiversity Research Center |
Santos-Guerra A.,Instituto Canario Of Investigaciones Agrarias |
And 8 more authors.
Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics | Year: 2010
Current threats to the planet's biodiversity are unprecedented, and they particularly imperil insular floras. In this investigation, we use the threat factors identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as the main drivers of biodiversity loss on islands to define and rank 13 current, continuing threats to the plant diversity of nine focal archipelagos where volcanic origin (or in the Seychelles a prolonged isolation after a continental origin) has produced a high degree of endemicity and fragility in the face of habitat alteration. We also conduct a global endangerment assessment based on the numbers of insular endemic plants in the endangered (EN) and critically endangered (CR) IUCN categories for 53 island groups with an estimated 9951 endemic plant species, providing a representative sample of the world's insular systems and their floristic richness. Our analyses indicate that isolation does not significantly influence endangerment, but plant endemics from very small islands are more often critically endangered. We estimate that between 3500 and 6800 of the estimated 70,000 insular endemic plant species worldwide might be highly threatened (CR+EN) and between ca. 2000 and 2800 of them in critical danger of extinction (CR). Based on these analyses, and on a worldwide literature review of the biological threat factors considered, we identify challenging questions for conservation research, asking (i) what are the most urgent priorities for the conservation of insular species and floras, and (ii) with the knowledge and assets available, how can we improve the impact of conservation science and practice on the preservation of island biodiversity? Our analysis indicates that the synergistic action of many threat factors can induce major ecological disturbances, leading to multiple extinctions. We review weaknesses and strengths in conservation research and management in the nine focal archipelagos, and highlight the urgent need for conservation scientists to share knowledge and expertise, identify and discuss common challenges, and formulate multi-disciplinary conservation objectives for insular plant endemics worldwide. To our knowledge, this is the most up-to-date and comprehensive survey yet to review the threat factors to native plants on oceanic islands and define priority research questions. © 2009 Rübel Foundation, ETH Zürich.
Lobo C.,Jardim Botanico da Madeira |
Sim-Sim M.,Museu Nacional de Historia Natural |
Sim-Sim M.,University of Lisbon |
Luis L.,Museu Nacional de Historia Natural |
Stech M.,Leiden University
Nova Hedwigia | Year: 2011
Madeira Archipelago's bryoflora includes 23 Fissidens taxa of which four are endemic to Macaronesia (Fissidens coacervatus, F. microstictus, F. nobreganus and F. sublineaefolius), including two exclusive to Madeira (F. microstictus, F. nobreganus), and several others that are considered rare or threatened in Europe. However, the distribution and threat status of several Fissidens species on Madeira Archipelago is yet insufficiently known. Based on recent field work and revision of herbarium collections, distribution data, habitat preferences, and threat status on Madeira Archipelago are updated for the Madeiran endemic F. nobreganus, the Macaronesian endemics F. coacervatus a n d F. sublineaefolius, as well as five other rare or insufficiently known species, F. curvatus, F. crispus, F. dubius, F. ovatifolius and F. polyphyllus. © 2011 J. Cramer in Gebr. Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.
Vessella F.,University of Tuscia |
Simeone M.C.,University of Tuscia |
Fernandes F.M.,Jardim Botanico da Madeira |
Schirone A.,University of Tuscia |
And 2 more authors.
Caryologia | Year: 2013
Macaronesia is an important biodiversity hotspot in the Mediterranean bioclimatic region, hosting a number of endemics, and encompassing outstanding refugia for ancient Tertiary plant lineages. We investig past occurrence and present distribution of yew (Taxus baccata L.) in the Madeiran archipelago, providing preliminary morphological and genetic descriptions and addressing conservation issues. Fifty-eight individuals presently occur in 19 micro-populations, as probable survivors of the continued yew exploitation across the centuries. Plants were characterized and compared with Euro-Mediterranean provenances by leaf morphology, anatomy, nuclear ITS (Internal Trascribed Spacer) and plastid trnS-trnQ DNA markers. The Madeiran provenance showed peculiar leaf size and morpho-anatomical characters. DNA sequences revealed a basal position of Madeiran yew in the Baccata phylogenetic clades along with the Azorean provenance. Gathered data suggest the survival of a lineage of T. baccata different from those on the continent, and with a possible closer derivation from the species' ancestors. Such evidences provide a base for identifying a great phylo- and phytogeographical interest of the Macaronesian provenance, and confirm the role of the archipelagos to preserve relict flora and lineages. The risk of extinction of Madeiran yew also calls for conservation strategies and restoration programs for a prompt species rescue. © 2013 Copyright Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica, Università di Firenze.