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The Iberian Vascular Flora: Richness, Endemicity and Distribution Patterns

  • Carlos AedoEmail author
  • Antoni Buira
  • Leopoldo Medina
  • Marta Fernández-Albert
Chapter
Part of the Plant and Vegetation book series (PAVE, volume 12)

Abstract

An historical review of the Iberian flora is presented here to give a summary of the main milestones from the fourteenth century until today. More than 400 years of floristic work has been briefly analysed from Clusius’ time until today, with special attention on the oldest and less known aspects. The Iberian flora comprises 6276 species including 739 non-native species. 1258 species (being 22.8% of the native species) are endemic. This shows that the Iberian flora is rather special; even so, the richness and endemism levels are comparable to other Mediterranean basin countries such as Greece or Morocco, and lower than Turkey. The rate of generic endemism, however, is considerably higher in the Iberian flora. The species richness and the endemicity patterns are analysed on basis of the native and endemic species observed in 50 × 50 km squares. The highest observed species richness areas generally overlap with the richest in endemic species. They are located in the main Iberian Mountain Ranges. The Baetic System shows the highest rate of endemism, followed by the Cantabrian Mountains, the Central System and the Pyrenees. The composition of the Iberian flora is examined in large groups. The Compositae is the largest family at species and endemism levels, and also provides the largest number of alien species. Limonium, Centaurea and Carex are the largest genera in the Iberian flora; the two former have their diversification centres in the Mediterranean Basin. More than one third of the Iberian species has been classified in Spain in one or other special category and included in Red Data Lists or Books. At least 20 taxa can be considered as extinct in the territory of the Iberian flora.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to acknowledge the efforts of those professionals and amateur botanists who regularly contribute to the knowledge of the Spanish flora depositing their collections in public herbaria. We thank N. Fumeaux, J. Güemes, M. Hjertson, N. Ibáñez, G. López, R. Morales, F. Muñoz Garmendia, M. Porto and L. Ramón-Laca for providing bibliographic or herbaria data. We are grateful to Helen Álvaro for correcting the English version of the manuscript. L.M. Ferrero generously provided the picture of Gentianella amarella. This work has been supported and funded by the Spanish Government through the Flora iberica project (CGL2014-52787-C3-0P) and by the Anthos project (Fundación Biodiversidad-CSIC).

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Aedo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antoni Buira
    • 1
  • Leopoldo Medina
    • 1
  • Marta Fernández-Albert
    • 1
  1. 1.Real Jardín Botánico-CSICMadridSpain

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