LEC 5a Megadiversity.pdf - 1 Biodiversity Mapping ...

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1 Biodiversity Mapping Sundaland: Philippines Biodiversity Mapping Tropical Andes MesoAmerica The megadiverse countries are a group of countries in which less than the 10% of the global land surface has more than the 70% of the land's biodiversity. Most of these countries are located in the tropics. In 2002, an organization “ Like Minded Megadiverse Countries " was formed to recognize these countries as biodiversity hotspots. The Megadiversity country concept is based on four premises: The biodiversity of each and every nation is critically important to that nation’s survival, and must be a fundamental component of any national or regional development strategy. Nonetheless, biodiversity is by no means evenly distributed on our planet, and some countries, especially in the tropics, harbor far greater concentrations of biodiversity than others; Some of the richest and most diverse nations also have ecosystems that are under the most severe threat, and To achieve maximum impact with limited resources, we must concentrate heavily (but not exclusively) on those countries richest in diversity and endemism and most severely threatened; investment in them should be roughly proportional to their overall contribution to global diversity.
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2 What determines whether or not a country makes the megadiversity list? Endemism Principal quantitative criterion for megadiversity country status. First at the species level and then, as an additional consideration, at higher taxonomic levels as the genus and Family (phyletic endemism). A number of criteria have been taken into consideration as well. These include: Species Diversity The total number of species living within the boarders of the country in question (including migratory species), with special consideration being given to countries with more that 2000 non-fish vertebrates and more than 10000 higher plants, even if they do not qualify on the endemism criteria (e.g., the Democratic Republic of Congo) Ecosystem Diversity / Beta Diversity The number of different vegetation types, ecosystem types, major habitats, etc. within the country. Higher Level Diversity/Phyletic Diversity The total number of genera and families living within the boarders of the country. Special consideration was also given to countries with high generic and family diversity and, especially those with endemic families and high numbers of endemic genera (e.g., Madagascar, Australia, the Philippines).
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