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The taxonomic distribution of rare and common species among families in the vascular plant flora of Fennoscandia: BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH

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Many plant traits are not randomly distributed among families. The question considered here is ‘are rarity and commonness of vascular plants in Fennoscandia randomly distributed among families?’ If more rare or more common species are found within a family, this may give some initial indications about which traits may predict rarity and commonness of species. A species was defined as rare or common based on its abundance and on the number of grid squares it occupies. 1521 naturally occurring species in 229 75×75 km grid squares were used. Permutation tests were performed to assess statistically if rarity and commonness are randomly distributed among families. Several families can be identified as having more rare or more common species than would be expected under a random allocation model. However, there are little deviations from what would be expected if rarity and commonness were randomly distributed among families in the whole Fennoscandian flora. It is proposed that the arbitrary geographical limits of the study area may account for the lack of any clear patterns of rarity and commonness among and between families.
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Keywords: Rarity; commonness; permutation tests; plant traits

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Botany, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007 Bergen, Norway, Email:, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 September 1999

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