Jeanmonod, D., Y. Naciri, A. Schlüssel & J. Gamisans (2015). Floristic analyses of the Corsican flora: biogeographical origin and endemism. Candollea 70: 21–41. In English. English and French abstracts.
This article discusses various aspects of the biogeographical origin and endemism of the Corsican flora based on data retrieved from “Flora Corsica” project. It focuses on species richness, taxonomy, life forms, taxa abundance, distribution in vegetation belts, habitats and substrate types. The results are compared to other geographic regions, particularly Mediterranean ones. These data show that in Corsica the species of Mediterranean origin are slightly more numerous than those of Holarctic origin. It is surprising that the Holarctic elements start to dominate at low altitude in the supramediterranean belt. The endemic flora (12.7%) shows distribution patterns often distinct from those of the non-endemic native flora, particularly regarding taxonomy, biological types and altitudinal distributions. The rates of hemicryptophytes and chamaephytes are for instance higher for the former compared to the latter while it is the reverse for therophytes. These rates are quite similar to those recorded in Sardinia, but rather different from those of other Mediterranean islands. More unexpected is the abundance pattern of endemic species which is quite similar to that of non-endemic ones. However, strictly endemic Corsican species are generally rarer than subendemics. The number of endemic species increases from the coast to the montane belt and then decreases in the upper belts. The percentage of endemic species, meanwhile, regularly increases from the thermomediterranean belt to the alpine one where it reachs a maximum of 43.1%. The endemic flora also shows a wider altitudinal spectrum than other native species. The distribution of endemic species in the different Corsican habitats is slightly different from the one recorded for the indigeneous taxa. Endemics are however preferentially found in rocky habitats, but without any preference for a particular substrate. In the endemic flora, the Mediterranean origin is predominant but this trend is more marked in subendemics. The strict Corsican endemics have a mostly Holarctic origin and are more often found at high altitudes. These results shed light on the specificity of the Corsican endemic flora and should help the management of endemic species.