Analysis of threatened endemic trees of the Western Ghats of India sheds new light on the Red Data Book of Indian Plants
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 12, Number 10, October 2003 , pp. 2091-2106(16)
The Red Data Book of Indian Plants (RDB) is a reference manual that lists threatened angiosperms, gymnosperms and pterydophytes. Because it is widely used as an analytical tool and is a major reference for impact assessments on vegetation, it is important that the RDB be as comprehensive and up to date as possible. This study is an attempt to cross-check the listings in the RDB using vegetation inventories and another reference manual, the Atlas of Endemics of the Western Ghats, India . Field inventories across the Western Ghats gave an estimate of the species relative abundances and the Atlas provided quantitative information on the number of records for the endemic species in herbaria, literature, and during field surveys. The results of this analysis indicate that the RDB and the Atlas agree statistically regarding the conservation status of endemic trees. However, the proportion of threatened species per Atlas record category behaves erratically, indicating that some threatened endemic trees are not listed in the RDB. Our results suggest that the status of threatened plant species should be reexamined on a priority basis using quantitative methodology. An updating of the RDB is urgently needed, particularly for the endemic plants of the Western Ghats. We provide a list of species that are likely to be threatened, yet are not listed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama (e-mail: email@example.com) 2: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama; Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University, 605 014, India 3: UMR CNRS 5558, Université Claude Bernard – Lyon 1, 43, Boulevard du 11 novembre 1918, Villeurbanne Cedex, F-69622, France 4: French Institute of Pondicherry, 11 St. Louis Street, 605 001, India
Publication date: October 1, 2003