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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010194

Threatened Plants in China’s Sanjiang Plain: Hotspot Distributions and Gap Analysis

1
Institute of Ecology and Environment, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, China
2
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
3
No. 1 Senior Middle School of Siping, Siping 136000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract

Global biodiversity is markedly decreasing in response to climate change and human disturbance. Sanjiang Plain is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot in China due to its high forest and wetland coverage, but species are being lost at an unprecedented rate, induced by anthropogenic activities. Identifying hotspot distributions and conservation gaps of threatened species is of particular significance for enhancing the conservation of biodiversity. Specifically, we integrated the principles and methods of spatial hotspot inspection, geographic information system (GIS) technology and spatial autocorrelation analysis along with fieldwork to determine the spatial distribution patterns and unprotected hotspots of vulnerable and endangered plants in Sanjiang Plain. A gap analysis of the conservation status of vulnerable and endangered plants was conducted. Our results indicate that six nationally-protected plants were not observed in nature reserves or were without any protection, while the protection rates were <10% for 10 other nationally-protected plants. Protected areas (PAs) cover <5% of the distribution areas for 31 threatened plant species, while only five species are covered by national nature reserves (NNRs) within >50% of the distribution areas. We found 30 hotspots with vulnerable and endangered plants in the study area, but the area covered by NNRs is very limited. Most of the hotspots were located in areas with a high-high aggregation of plant species. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the area of existing nature reserves, establish miniature protection plots and create new PAs and ecological corridors to link the existing PAs. Our findings can contribute to the design of a PA network for botanical conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: hotspots; gap analysis; Sanjiang Plain of China; vulnerable and endangered plants hotspots; gap analysis; Sanjiang Plain of China; vulnerable and endangered plants
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Du, B.; Zheng, Y.; Liu, J.; Mao, D. Threatened Plants in China’s Sanjiang Plain: Hotspot Distributions and Gap Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10, 194.

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