The New Caledonian biodiversity hotspot contains many micro-hotspots that exhibit high plant micro-endemism, and that are facing different types and intensities of threats. The Belep archipelago, and especially Île Art, with 24 and 21 respective narrowly endemic species (1 Extinct, 21 Critically Endangered and 2 Endangered), should be considered as the most sensitive micro-hotspot of plant diversity in New Caledonia because of the high anthropogenic threat of fire. Nano-hotspots could also be defined for the low forest remnants of the southern and northern plateaus of Île Art. With an average rate of more than one new species described for New Caledonia each month since January 2000 and five new endemics for the Belep archipelago since 2009, the state of knowledge of the flora is steadily improving. The present account of eight new species from Île Art (Bocquillonia montrouzieri Gâteblé & McPherson, Cleidion artense Gâteblé & McPherson, Endiandra artensis Munzinger & McPherson, Eugenia belepiana J.W.Dawson ex N.Snow, Eugenia insulartensis J.W.Dawson ex N.Snow, Macaranga latebrosa Gâteblé & McPherson, Planchonella serpentinicola Swenson & Munzinger and Psychotria neodouarrei Barrabé & A.Martini) further demonstrates the need both to recognise the Belep Islands as a major New Caledonian micro-hotspot and to formulate concrete conservation programs for the archipelago.
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Vol. 31 • No. 5-6