Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 765–784 | Cite as

Endemism and conservation of Amazon palms

  • Carlos Mariano Alvez-Valles
  • Henrik Balslev
  • Fabrício Alvim Carvalho
  • Roosevelt Garcia-Villacorta
  • Cesar Grandez
  • Luiz Menini Neto
Original Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Forest and plantation biodiversity


Endemicity is important for the delimitation of conservation areas. Endemic areas are those that contain two or more taxa with their distribution restricted to the area. The aim of this study was to detect endemic areas for palms in the Amazon region and to determine whether the species that define these endemic areas are protected within conservation units. Records of occurrence were extracted from the global biodiversity information facility (GBIF). The final dataset consisted of 17,310 records, for 177 species of Amazonian palms. For analysis we used parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) and NDM-VNDM program, and grid square size of 1° and 3° as operational geographic units (OGUs). The distribution of endemic species was superimposed on occurrence of the conservation units (CUs). PAE did not show endemic areas in grid squares of 1°, but found 10 palm endemic areas in grid squares of 3° in the western Amazon and Andean sub-region. However, the NDM-VNDM program identified an endemic area in grid squares of 1° located at the eastern Guiana with endemicity score = 2.9, and in grid squares of 3° it identified seven consensus areas with endemicity score > 6.0, all in the western Amazon. The combination of PAE and NDM-VNDM analyses resulted in eight endemic palm areas in the combined western Amazon and Andean sub-region. Of the species that define the endemic areas, five are threatened with extinction in one of three IUCN categories (EN, VU, NT), and they are not protected in any conservation units. The western Amazon, besides having high palm richness, also has palm endemic areas, especially, near the Andean sub-region and the Peruvian Amazon.


Biogeography Endemic areas Threatened species Western Amazon 



The authors thank the Programa de Pós-graduação of the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (PGECOL/UFJF), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior), OEA (Organización de estados Americanos) and GCUB (Grupo Coimbra de Universidades Brasileiras) for financial support. HB thanks the Danish Council for Independent Research—Natural Sciences [Grant #4181-00158] and the European Community [FP7 Grant #212631].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Mariano Alvez-Valles
    • 1
  • Henrik Balslev
    • 2
  • Fabrício Alvim Carvalho
    • 1
    • 3
  • Roosevelt Garcia-Villacorta
    • 4
    • 5
  • Cesar Grandez
    • 6
  • Luiz Menini Neto
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of BioscienceAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  3. 3.Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  5. 5.Peruvian Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (PCBC)IquitosPeru
  6. 6.Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP)IquitosPeru

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