Eco-geographical analysis of rare endemic plants of Siberia

Study of Siberian vascular fauna identifies 50 very rare and endemic vascular species and recommends inclusion in national red lists

Alchemilla circularis
Alchemilla circularis recorded in Chaykovskiy Rayon, Perm Krai, Russia by Ovesnov A. Photo via Moscow State University (CC BY 4.0)

Endemic species are only found in a single geographical location, zone or habitat type. Some very rare species are only known from the original location in which they were originally described (stenoendemics).

In this study, researchers from Russia developed a custom nine-point ranking system based on characteristics such as stenoendemism, typification and inclusion in red lists to identify the 50 rarest vascular plant species in Siberia. Using herbarium data published through GBIF, the authors analysed the taxonomic composition and eco-geographical features of said species in order to develop scientific recommendations for their conservation.

The 50 identified species make up about 1.1 per cent of the total number of known vascular plants in Siberia. The most represented families are Asteraceae (nine species), Rosaceae (seven species), and Ranunculaceae (four species). More than 80 per cent of the studied species are found in the southern hemi-boreal zone, and nearly half belong to the Altai-Siberian ecoregion.

The study finds a low level of state protection of the studied species and recommends inclusion of endemic Siberian species into lists of rare and endangered plants of Russia.

Original article

Baikov KS, Baikova EV and Banaev EV (2019) Ecological and Geographical Analysis of Endemic Vascular Plants in Siberia and Problems of Their Conservation Ex Situ. Contemporary Problems of Ecology. Pleiades Publishing Ltd 12(5): 418–433. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1134/S1995425519050032