Metzgeriaceae are a cosmopolitan family that is particularly diverse in the Neotropics. In Brazil, the species of Metzgeria Raddi preferentially inhabit the coastal ecosystem Atlantic Rain Forest (from northeastern to southern Brazil). For bryophytes, the IUCN distribution criteria are of critical importance to evaluate threat status. In this study, we propose the use of ecological niche modeling methods to estimate the extent of potential occurrence of five Metzgeria species. Herbarium collection data were used to estimate the potential distribution of the species based on the method MAXENT. Understanding the spatial distribution of species is essential for the conservation of biodiversity, and the use of potential distribution models in biogeographic analysis is an important tool for the conservation of rare or endangered species. Modeling the distribution of five Metzgeria species endemic and/or threatened reveals that the species are currently not known from several areas that are, however, predicted to provide suitable environments. From these areas of forest fragments, 52% are under environmental protection, which is very important for the conservation of these species typical of the Atlantic Rain Forest domain. When we intersect this information with future areas of environmental protection, proposed by the Ministry of Environment of Brazil in 2010, we observed that 93% of forest fragments will be protected.
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Vol. 115 • No. 2