Conservation biogeography of red oaks (Quercus, section Lobatae) in Mexico and Central America

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:A. Torres-Miranda, Luna-Vega, I., Oyama, K.
Journal:American Journal of BotanyAmerican Journal of Botany
Date Published:February 1, 2011

* Premise of the study: Oaks are dominant trees and key species in many temperate and subtropical forests in the world. In this study, we analyzed patterns of distribution of red oaks (Quercus, section Lobatae) occurring in Mexico and Central America to determine areas of species richness and endemism to propose areas of conservation. * Methods: Patterns of richness and endemism of 75 red oak species were analyzed using three different units. Two complementarity algorithms based on species richness and three algorithms based on species rarity were used to identify important areas for conservation. A simulated annealing analysis was performed to evaluate and formulate effective new reserves for red oaks that are useful for conserving the ecosystems associated with them after the systematic conservation planning approach. * Key results: Two main centers of species richness were detected. The northern Sierra Madre Oriental and Serranias Meridionales of Jalisco had the highest values of endemism. Fourteen areas were considered as priorities for conservation of red oak species based on the 26 priority political entities, 11 floristic units and the priority grid-cells obtained in the complementarity analysis. In the present network of Natural Protected Areas in Mexico and Central America, only 41.3% (31 species) of the red oak species are protected. The simulated annealing analysis indicated that to protect all 75 species of red oaks, 12 current natural protected areas need to be expanded by 120000 ha of additional land, and 26 new natural protected areas with 512500 ha need to be created. * Conclusions: Red oaks are a useful model to identify areas for conservation based on species richness and endemism as a result of their wide geographic distribution and a high number of species. We evaluated and reformulated new reserves for red oaks that are also useful for the conservation of ecosystems associated with them.

Short Title:Am J Bot
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith