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Global endemics-area relationships of vascular plants


Carsten Hobohm


Manuel Steinbauer

Sara Landi

Sula Vanderplank

Carl Beierkuhnlein

John-Arvid Grytnes

Ole Reidar Vetaas

Alessandra Fidelis

Lea de Nascimento

Vincent Ralph Clark

Scott Franklin

Riccardo Guarino

Jihong Huang

Pavel Krestov

Keping Ma

Vladimir Onipchenko

Mike W. Palmer

Marcelo Fragomeni Simon

Christian Stolz

Alessandro Chiarucci


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 10^4, 10^5, 10^6, 10^7, and 10^8 km2, 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 km2 (range 9675–20,529).


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, 17(2), 41-49.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 30, 2019
Publication Date Apr 30, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 27, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 28, 2019
Journal Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
Print ISSN 2530-0644
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 41-49
Keywords Expert knowledge, Minimum and maximum estimates, Zero-endemic plots, Distribution of land and sea, Global reference
Public URL
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