Richness, similarity and specificity of Madagascar flora compared with Sub-Saharan Africa
Methods – Using the African Plant Database, global figures of specific and generic richness for Tropical Africa, Southern Africa and Madagascar have been calculated and illustrated by Venn diagrams. For each family or genus similarity between Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar has been calculated using the Jaccard Index. Madagascar specificity has been defined as the ratio of Madagascar-exclusive species richness to total richness.
Key results – The study confirms the general trends of richness and endemism in the Malagasy flora, but provides accurate figures based on the current state of angiosperm taxonomy. Overlap between the floras of Southern African, Tropical African and Madagascar flora is provided with precise figures. Similarity between Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa is very low at species level (0.029) and eight times higher at generic level (0.246). Madagascar specificity reaches 0.165 at specific level and 0.105 at generic level. Calculation of these two indexes for families and genera, based for the first time on APG III, confirms general trends observed so far, and the richest families of the Malagasy flora are listed according to major patterns of their diversity and distribution.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-03-01
Plant Ecology and Evolution (a continuation of Belgian Journal of Botany, incorporating Systematics and Geography of Plants) is an international journal devoted to ecology, phylogenetics and systematics of all 'plant' groups in the traditional sense (including algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, myxomycetes), also covering related fields such as comparative and developmental morphology, conservation biology, ecophysiology, evolution, phytogeography, pollen and spores, population biology, and vegetation studies. It is published by the Royal Botanical Society of Belgium and the Botanic Garden Meise and contains original research papers, review articles, checklists, short communications and book reviews.
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