Multiple diversity measures to identify complementary conservation areas for the Baja California peninsular cacti
Prado, A., Hawkins, J. A., Yesson, C. and Barcenas, R. T. (2010) Multiple diversity measures to identify complementary conservation areas for the Baja California peninsular cacti. Biological Conservation, 143 (6). pp. 1510-1520. ISSN 0006-3207
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.03.033
The Baja California Peninsula is home to 85 species of cacti, of which 54 are endemic, highlighting its importance as a cactus diverse region within Mexico. Many species are under threat due to collection pressure and habitat loss, but ensuring maximal protection of cacti species requires a better understanding of diversity patterns. We assessed species richness, endemism, and phylogenetic and morphological diversity using herbarium records and a molecular phylogeny for 82 species of cacti found in the peninsula. The four diversity measures were estimated for the existing nature reserve network and for 314 hexagrids of 726 km2. Using the hexagrid data, we surveyed our results for areas that best complement the current protected cacti diversity in the Baja California Peninsula. Currently, the natural reserve network in Baja shelters an important amount of the cacti diversity (74% of the species, 85.9% of the phylogenetic diversity, 76% of endemics and all the growth forms). While species richness produced several solutions to complement the diversity protected, by identifying priority species (endemic species with high contribution to overall PD) one best solution is reported. Three areas (San Matías, Magdalena and Margarita Islands and El Triunfo), selected using species richness, PD and endemism, best complement the diversity currently protected, increasing species richness to 89%, PD to 94% and endemism to 89%, and should be considered in future conservation plans. Two of these areas could be included within nature reserves already established.