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Eugenio Molina Navarro

World distribution, diversity and endemism of aquatic macrophytes

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  • K. Murphy, University of Glasgow
  • ,
  • Andrey Efremov, Omsk State Pedagogical University
  • ,
  • Thomas A. Davidson
  • Eugenio Molina-Navarro
  • Karina Fidanza, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
  • ,
  • Tânia Camila Crivelari Betiol, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
  • ,
  • Patricia Chambers, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • ,
  • Julissa Tapia Grimaldo, University of Glasgow
  • ,
  • Sara Varandas Martins, University of Glasgow
  • ,
  • I. Springuel, Aswan University
  • ,
  • Michael Kennedy, University of Coventry
  • ,
  • Roger Paulo Mormul, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
  • ,
  • Eric Dibble, Mississippi State University
  • ,
  • Deborah Hofstra, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
  • ,
  • Balázs András Lukács, DRI
  • ,
  • Daniel Gebler, Poznan University of Life Sciences
  • ,
  • Lars Baastrup-Spohr, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jonathan Urrutia-Estrada, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Universidad de Concepción

To test the hitherto generally-accepted hypothesis that most aquatic macrophytes have broad world distributions, we investigated the global distribution, diversity and endemism patterns of 3457 macrophyte species that occur in permanent, temporary or ephemeral inland freshwater and brackish waterbodies worldwide. At a resolution of 10 × 10° latitude x longitude, most macrophyte species were found to have narrow global distributions: 78% have ranges (measured using an approach broadly following the IUCN-defined concept “extent of occurrence”) that individually occupy <10% of the world area present within the six global ecozones which primarily provide habitat for macrophytes. We found evidence of non-linear relationships between latitude and macrophyte α- and γ-diversity, with diversity highest in sub-tropical to low tropical latitudes, declining slightly towards the Equator, and also declining strongly towards higher latitudes. Landscape aridity and, to a lesser extent, altitude and land area present per gridcell also influence macrophyte diversity and species assemblage worldwide. The Neotropics and Orient have the richest ecozone species-pools for macrophytes, depending on γ-diversity metric used. The region around Brasilia/Goiás (Brazil: gridcell 10–20 °S; 40–50 °W) is the richest global hotspot for macrophyte α-diversity (total species α-diversity, ST: 625 species/gridcell, 350 of them Neotropical endemics). In contrast, the Sahara/Arabian Deserts, and some Arctic areas, have the lowest macrophyte α-diversity (ST <20 species/gridcell). At ecozone scale, macrophyte species endemism is pronounced, though with a>5-fold difference between the most species-rich (Neotropics) and species-poor (Palaearctic) ecozones. Our findings strongly support the assertion that small-ranged species constitute most of Earth's species diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103127
JournalAquatic Botany
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Aquatic plants, Biodiversity hotspots, Latitudinal diversity gradient, Macroecology, World ecozones

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