Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 11, pp 2237–2253 | Cite as

Hotspots and ecoregions: a test of conservation priorities using taxonomic data

  • Gary A. Krupnick
  • W. John Kress


The loss of biodiversity is now recognized as a global problem of significant magnitude [ Science 289: 2279]. Conservation efforts focus on measuring species diversity and distribution, assessing biodiversity threats, and managing habitats to maintain that diversity. The accuracy of measuring species diversity depends on the quality and scale of the data. Recently indirect estimates of diversity based on the skilled opinions of international taxonomic authorities were used to define 25 global conservation hotspots [ Nature 403: 853–858] and 871 ecoregions [ Bioscience 51: 933–938]. These data, originating from first-hand fieldwork and museum study, are readily available, but not necessarily repeatable nor testable. If this type of information prevails for conservation purposes, it is critical that we test the quality of this information with verifiable data at finer scales (e.g., regional inventories, specimen records, and accumulated distribution data). Here we perform such a test for the hotspots and ecoregions found in the Indo-Pacific by comparing the estimates of the expert scientists with authenticated published diversity data on flowering plants. We found a high correlation between our counts of species richness and endemism with the experts' estimates, but surprisingly found less congruity among the seven families examined. A revised list of conservation priority regions based on our plant data is provided.

Biodiversity Ecoregions Endemism Hotspots Indo-Pacific Mapping Museum collections Plants 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary A. Krupnick
  • W. John Kress

There are no affiliations available

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