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Maney Publishing, Journal of Bryology, 2(34), p. 101-107

DOI: 10.1179/1743282012y.0000000004

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Species richness and endemism of Australian bryophytes

This paper is available in a repository.
This paper is available in a repository.

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Abstract

Although understanding the patterns of diversity is essential for conservation and environmental studies, an understanding of bryophyte distributions in Australia has been limited by the absence of continental-scale maps for patterns of bryophyte diversity. The aim of this study was to identify the patterns of species richness and endemism of hornworts, liverworts, and mosses in Australia. A database of 85 383 geo-referenced herbarium records was assembled and aggregated at a grid cell resolution of 0.5°. A one-cell radius neighbourhood analysis was applied to identify the spatial patterns of species richness and endemism. Primary centres of species richness were located on the east of the continent, with the highest number of species occurring in Queensland's Wet Tropics, the Border Ranges near the Queensland‐New South Wales border, the central coast of New South Wales, southern Victoria, and Tasmania. Endemism scores were high in the Wet Tropics, but highly endemic regions were scattered across the continent but not found in arid regions. The spatial patterns of diversity differed among hornworts, liverworts, and mosses, and areas of endemism and species richness did not always overlap. Comparisons with other taxa additionally indicated that areas of bryophyte diversity do not correspond with groups that are currently used as proxies in conservation.