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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Clark, John R. [1], Atkins, Hannah [2].

Plant Conservation Across the Pacific: can systematics and biogeography research aid in broad–scale conservation goals?

Abstract – Recent advances in the collection, inventory and systematics of plants in Pacific islands presents an opportunity to develop parallel conservation strategies in disparate island groups. In this paper, I present a preliminary genus-wide conservation assessment of Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae), a widely dispersed Pacific plant genus. Species of Cyrtandra are found on nearly all Pacific high islands but are rarely common where they are found. Species are almost exclusively local endemics, occupying a single archipelago, island, or, more commonly, narrow regions of single islands. As a result, the large number of species in the genus can be categorized as endangered according to IUCN rankings. Recent formal rankings of species in the Marquesas and Hawaiian islands were used to extrapolate across the Pacific on species distributions and rarity. Two major distribution classes have been identified: 1) a limited number of widespread, multi-island species occurring in most archipelagos studied and 2) regional endemics often restricted to single islands or specific localities in those islands. The latter class are those most commonly being endangered but the former are also a conservation priority in preserving "evolutionary potential" in the genus. These patterns become more pronounced from West to East into the remote Pacific which can also guide conservation prioritization. We argue that ubiquitous genera like Cyrtandra that are increasingly well-studied can be used to identify regional patterns of intact native habitat for on-going conservation work. This method can increase efficiencies, and in conjunction with geospatial assessments of intact native vegetation, can be used to promote ecosystem-level conservation outcomes.

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1 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Rd., Kalaheo, HI, 96741, USA
2 - Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK

island biogeography
conservation biology.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 16
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 16005
Abstract ID:696
Candidate for Awards:None


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