NUÑEZ martin Andres
Quantity versus quality: Endemism and protected areas in the temperate forest of South America
RODRIGUEZ-CABAL MA, NUÑEZ, M.A., MARTINEZ A. S.
Año: 2008 vol. 33 p. 730 - 736
Identification of biodiversity hotspots is essential to conservation strategies aimed at minimizing the possibility of losing half of the world's species in the next 50 years. The aims of the present study were: (i) to locate and designate zones of endemism in the temperate forest of South America; and (ii) to compare the distribution of these areas with the distribution of existing protected areas in this habitat type. Endemism areas were determined by using parsimonious analysis of endemism, which identified zones of endemism on the basis of sets of endemic species that were restricted to two or more study areas. We used distribution information for five unrelated taxa (ferns, trees, reptiles, birds and mammals) to provide more reliable results and patterns than would work with only a single taxon or related taxa. The northern part of this region has high endemism for all of the taxa considered in this study. We demonstrate that although the temperate forest of South America has more than 30% of its area under some type of protection, correlation between protected areas and the areas of endemism is remarkably low. In fact, less than 10% of protected areas are situated in areas that have the greatest value for conservation (i.e. high endemism). Under the current strategy, biodiversity within South America's temperate forest is in danger despite the large amount of protected area for this forest type.