Special Issue "Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Adriano Stinca
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Caserta, Italy
Interests: floristics; plant taxonomy; vegetation science; community ecology; plant biology; biogeography; fire ecology; biodeteriogenic plants on monuments and archaeological sites; plant biodiversity assessment and conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although vascular plants play a key role in the functioning of ecosystems, updated data on the distribution and conservation status of many species are lacking. This information is essential for studies on biogeography and provide an essential baseline for the conservation of plant biodiversity as a whole.

This Special Issue will focus on new interdisciplinary research and significant advances in biodiversity and the conservation of vascular flora. Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts on the following topics:

(1) description of new taxa (species and subspecies);

(2) floristic studies (e.g., annotated checklists, comparative analysis between historical and current data);

(3) first national reports for native and alien vascular plants;

(4) taxonomic revisions of critical groups;

(5) patterns of vascular species assembly in relation to different spatial and temporal scales;

(6) threats to the conservation of vascular flora;

(7) conservation actions for vascular flora.

Dr. Adriano Stinca
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biodiversity conservation
  • exotic flora
  • native flora
  • new taxa
  • species richness

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Exploring Effective Conservation of Charismatic Flora: Orchids in Armenia as a Case Study
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 624; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120624 - 28 Nov 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
Plants are the bedrock of life on Earth but are increasingly threatened with extinction. The most cost-effective way of conserving plant diversity is through Protected Areas (PAs). However, the locality, size, and management of PAs are crucial for effectively maintaining diversity and have [...] Read more.
Plants are the bedrock of life on Earth but are increasingly threatened with extinction. The most cost-effective way of conserving plant diversity is through Protected Areas (PAs). However, the locality, size, and management of PAs are crucial for effectively maintaining diversity and have been criticized as currently inadequate. Using Armenia as our study site and orchids as our study taxa, we sought to (1) identify spatial patterns of orchid diversity hotspots and corresponding PA network sites; (2) examine if the current PA network is effective at capturing orchid species richness and diversity and (3) explore the relationship between the range of area suitability of species and level of protection. We used data collected from herbarium, field visits and GBIF occurrence records. Using freely available mapping software, we created heatmaps of observations and species richness. We compared PA sites based on the number of species (species richness) and diversity (Shannon–Weiner Index). Species range was developed using the MaxEnt model and a correlation analysis was performed against the proportion of the range within PA. We found that 57% of PA sites have a representation of at least one species of orchid, but some threatened species are not presented within any PA site. The Tavush and Syunik province not only held the highest species richness (>10 species), but the PA network within also held high orchid diversity (2.5 diversity index value for Dilijan National Park). We did not find a significant relationship between the range of area suitability for orchids and protection; however, all our target species had less than 30% of their range under protection. Our study highlights important challenges related to the limitations of available data, and we discuss these implications towards effective conservation outcomes for orchids for the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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Article
Updated Checklist of Vascular Plants Endemic to Mongolia
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 619; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13120619 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 760
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to update the checklist of vascular plants endemic to Mongolia using previous checklists, publications, herbarium collections, and field observations. The revised checklist includes 102 endemic taxa (95 species, five subspecies, and two nothospecies) from 43 genera [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to update the checklist of vascular plants endemic to Mongolia using previous checklists, publications, herbarium collections, and field observations. The revised checklist includes 102 endemic taxa (95 species, five subspecies, and two nothospecies) from 43 genera and 19 families. The majority of endemic taxa were distributed in western and central Mongolia, and high endemic species richness was identified in four phytogeographical regions, namely Mongolian Altai, Khangai, Dzungarian Gobi, and Gobi Altai, which harbor 49, 27, 20, and 16 endemic taxa, respectively. For each endemic taxon, we compiled information about growth form, conservation status (if already assessed), phytogeographical distribution, and voucher specimens. Data on each taxon’s type specimen were also collected, and the majority of the type specimens were accessioned at the LE (58 taxa), MW (20 taxa), and UBA (7 taxa) herbaria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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Article
Italian Vascular Flora: New Findings, Updates and Exploration of Floristic Similarities between Regions
Diversity 2021, 13(11), 600; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13110600 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
The tradition of floristic studies in Italy has made it possible to obtain a good knowledge of plant diversity both on a national and regional scale. However, the lack of knowledge for some areas, advances in plant systematics and human activities related to [...] Read more.
The tradition of floristic studies in Italy has made it possible to obtain a good knowledge of plant diversity both on a national and regional scale. However, the lack of knowledge for some areas, advances in plant systematics and human activities related to globalization, highlight the need for further studies aimed at improving floristic knowledge. In this paper, based on fieldwork and herbaria and literature surveys, we update the knowledge on the Italian vascular flora and analyze the floristic similarities between the administrative regions. Four taxa, all exotic, were recorded for the first time in Italy and Europe. In detail, Elaeodendron croceum, Kalanchoë blossfeldiana, and Sedum spathulifolium var. spathulifolium were found as casual aliens, while Oxalis brasiliensis was reported as historical record based on some herbarium specimens. Furthermore, Kalanchoë laxiflora was confirmed as a casual alien species for Italy and Europe. Status changes for some taxa were proposed at both national and regional levels, as well as many taxa were reported as new or confirmed at the regional level. Currently the Italian vascular flora comprises 9150 taxa of which 7547 are native (of which 1598 are Italian endemics) and 1603 are exotic at the national level. The multivariate analysis of updated floristic data on a regional scale showed a clear distribution along the latitudinal gradient, in accordance with the natural geographical location of the regions in Italy. This pattern of plants distribution was not affected by the introduction of alien species. Despite some taxonomic and methodological issues which are still open, the data obtained confirm the important role of floristic investigations in the field and in herbaria, as well as the collaborative approach among botanists, in order to improve the knowledge of the Italian and European vascular flora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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Article
Importance of Local Studies of Vascular Plant Communities in Conservation and Management: A Case Study in Susticacán, Zacatecas, Mexico
Diversity 2021, 13(10), 492; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13100492 - 09 Oct 2021
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Some parts of the globe have a deficient vegetation coverage survey causing localized plant community qualities generalized from larger scales, hindering their particular configuration. This process is emphasized in megadiverse countries such as Mexico by transformation and loss of land cover. This can [...] Read more.
Some parts of the globe have a deficient vegetation coverage survey causing localized plant community qualities generalized from larger scales, hindering their particular configuration. This process is emphasized in megadiverse countries such as Mexico by transformation and loss of land cover. This can be reflected in the municipality of Susticacán, Zacatecas, settled in a mountainous, scarcely explored area, the Sierra de los Cardos. This study aimed to characterize its plant communities, produce a fine-scale map and compare them to other descriptions. Oak forests, pine forests, grasslands, nopaleras, chaparral, and rock outcrop vegetation were detected through satellite image analysis, sampled, statistically evaluated, and their descriptions supported by the literature. The first two presented a high diversity and endemism, despite a small surface. The chaparral occupied the largest area, and its structure and composition suggest its secondary vegetation in expansion. The presence of exotic–invasive species and human activities threaten the native flora. This study is the first to provide detailed information on the plant communities in Susticacán and is a model for the study of local-scale regions. It highlights the importance of describing and mapping them as a contribution to delineate conservation and management efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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Article
Orchids of Mongolia: Taxonomy, Species Richness and Conservation Status
Diversity 2021, 13(7), 302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13070302 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2094
Abstract
Orchidaceae is a diverse, globally important plant family with high conservation assessment and prioritization requirements. The checklist of Orchidaceae in Mongolia was updated based on herbarium materials, literature, and field observations. Mongolian orchids were revised as comprising 26 taxa belonging to 14 genera [...] Read more.
Orchidaceae is a diverse, globally important plant family with high conservation assessment and prioritization requirements. The checklist of Orchidaceae in Mongolia was updated based on herbarium materials, literature, and field observations. Mongolian orchids were revised as comprising 26 taxa belonging to 14 genera with major updates were conducted on Herminium and Epipactis. In particular, H. alaschanicum, previously noted in the Alashan Gobi region, was added to the flora of Mongolia based on literature and type specimens. Epipactis helleborine and E. palustris were excluded from the Mongolian flora owing to the absence of herbarium specimens and wild collection from Mongolia. Assessment of all orchid species at the national level resulted in 1, 4, 7, 11, and 2 species as critically endangered (CR), endangered (EN), vulnerable (VU), near threatened (NT), and data deficient (DD), respectively, according to IUCN criteria. Species richness and conservation gap analyses of 970 georeferenced orchid records based on 0.5° × 0.5° grid cells across 16 phytogeographical regions of Mongolia, showed that four phytogeographical regions, Khangai, Khuvgul, Khentii and Mongolian Dauria, have a high number of orchids. Regrettably, most orchid-rich locations in Mongolia are not fully within protected areas, highlighting the need for protection management updates. Based on herbarium collections, we prepared grid distribution maps of the 26 taxa using 40 × 40 km2 grids. Photographs of 18 taxa taken during fieldwork were included, providing valuable information on species morphology and typical habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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Article
Diversity of Macrophytes and Environmental Assessment of the Ljubljanica River (Slovenia)
Diversity 2021, 13(6), 278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13060278 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
The present research aimed to determine the diversity of macrophyte taxa in the Ljubljanica River and its relationship with environmental parameters. In each of the 19 river sections, the presence and abundance of plant taxa were recorded, and basic physical and chemical parameters [...] Read more.
The present research aimed to determine the diversity of macrophyte taxa in the Ljubljanica River and its relationship with environmental parameters. In each of the 19 river sections, the presence and abundance of plant taxa were recorded, and basic physical and chemical parameters were measured. Additionally, selected environmental parameters were assessed using a modified version of the Riparian, Channel and Environmental (RCE) method. We compared the obtained data set with survey data from the year 2004. In 2019, a total of 34 macrophyte taxa were recorded. The dominant taxa with the highest abundance were Sparganium emersum, Callitriche sp., and the invasive alien species Elodea canadensis. The species richness and diversity of macrophytes decreased with distance from the source, an increase in pH, and alterations of the riverbed structure due to interference in the riverine ecosystem in the lower part of the Ljubljanica River and its catchment. The comparison of 2004 and 2019 surveys revealed a decrease in the overall presence and abundance of P. natans and in the frequency of occurrence of the species Myriophyllum spicatum and an increase in the presence and abundance of the invasive alien species Elodea canadensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Vascular Flora)
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