Global endemics-area relationships of vascular plants

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Hobohm C, Janišová M, Steinbauer M, Landi S, Field R, Vanderplank S, Beierkuhnlein C, Grytnes JA, Vetaas OR, Fidelis A, de Nascimento L, Clark VR, Fernández-Palacios JM, Franklin S, Guarino R, Huang J, Krestov P, Ma K, Onipchenko V, Palmer MW, Simon MF, Stolz C, Chiarucci A
Journal: Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Publication year: 2019
ISSN: 2530-0644


Endemics–Area Relationships (EARs)are fundamental in theoretical and applied biogeography for understanding distribution patterns and promoting biodiversity conservation. However, calculating EARs for vascular plant species from existing data is problematic because of biased knowledge of endemic species distributions and differences between taxonomies. We aimed to overcome these challenges by developing a new standardized global dataset based on expert knowledge to produce a set of global EARs. We developed a nested circle design, with grain sizes of 10
, 10
, 10
, 10
, and 10
, respectively, and a global distribution of plots based on a stratified random scheme. The number of vascular plant species endemic to each circle was then estimated independently by five experts randomly chosen from a pool of 23, as both a minimum and a maximum value (lower and upper bounds of the estimation), taking into account the limitations of current knowledge and varied species concepts in existing taxonomies. This procedure resulted in a dataset of 3000 expert estimates. Based on the data, we produced three global EARs for endemic species richness using minimum, maximum and average estimates. As a validation, we used all three models to extrapolate to the entire world, producing estimates of 284,493 (minimum), 398,364 (maximum)and 312,243 (average)vascular plant species. These figures conform to the range of taxonomists’ estimates. From the models, we calculated the average area needed to harbour a single endemic species as 12,875 km
(range 9675–20,529). The global vascular plant EARs we calculated represent the first standardized, quantitative expectations of plant endemism at any given scale (sampling unit size). These EARs allow us to provide a clear answer to a long-standing but elusive biogeographical question: how to assess whether any area on the surface of the Earth is rich or poor in endemics relative to the average.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Steinbauer, Manuel Prof. Dr.
Professur für System-Paläobiologie

External institutions with authors

Botanical Garden-Institute FEB RAS / Ботанический сад-институт ДВО РАН
Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Baja California
Chinese Academy of Forestry
Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology / Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia
Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IB-CAS) / 中国科学院植物研究所
Lomonosov Moscow State University / Московский государственный университет имени М.В.Ломоносова
Oklahoma State University
Rhodes University
São Paulo State University / Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho" (UNESP)
Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) / Slovenská akadémia vied (SAV)
Universidad de La Laguna
Università degli Studi di Palermo
Università degli Studi di Sassari (UNISS)
Universität Bayreuth
Universität Flensburg
University of Bergen
University of Bologna / Università di Bologna
University of Northern Colorado (UNC)
University of Nottingham

How to cite

Hobohm, C., Janišová, M., Steinbauer, M., Landi, S., Field, R., Vanderplank, S.,... Chiarucci, A. (2019). Global endemics-area relationships of vascular plants. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation.

Hobohm, Carsten, et al. "Global endemics-area relationships of vascular plants." Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation (2019).


Last updated on 2019-28-05 at 15:08