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1 January 2012 New Brazilian Floristic List Highlights Conservation Challenges
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Abstract
A comprehensive new inventory of Brazilian plants and fungi was published just in time to meet a 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity target and offers important insights into this biodiversity's global significance. Brazil is the home to the world's richest flora (40,989 species; 18,932 endemic) and includes two of the hottest hotspots: Mata Atlântica (19,355 species) and Cerrado (12,669 species). Although the total number of known species is one-third lower than previous estimates, the absolute number of endemic vascular plant species is higher than was previously estimated, and the proportion of endemism (56%) is the highest in the Neotropics. This compilation serves not merely to quantify the scale of the challenge faced in conserving Brazil's unique flora but also serves as a key resource to direct action and monitor progress. Similar efforts by other megadiverse countries are urgently required if the 2020 targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation are to be attained.
© 2012 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
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