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Plant and Animal Endemism in California

Plant and Animal Endemism in California

Susan P. Harrison
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Plant and Animal Endemism in California
    Book Description:

    California is globally renowned for its biological diversity, including its wealth of unique, orendemic,species. Many reasons have been cited to explain this abundance: the complex geology and topography of its landscape, the special powers of its Mediterranean-type climate, and the historic and modern barriers to the wider dispersal of its flora and fauna.Plant and Animal Endemism in Californiacompiles and synthesizes a wealth of data on this singular subject, providing new and updated lists of native species, comparing patterns and causes of both plant and animal endemism, and interrogating the classic explanations proposed for the state's special significance in light of new molecular evidence. Susan Harrison also offers a summary of the innovative tools that have been developed and used in California to conserve and protect this stunning and imperiled diversity.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95473-1
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Endemism or biological uniqueness is woven into what most people think of when they hear “California.” Along with Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, and wineries, even nonbiologists might think of coastal redwoods, condors, and fields of orange poppies in their imaginings of the state. Almost anything famously Californian has some connection to the wealth of unique species. The pleasantly winter-wet/summer-dry (mediterranean) climate, for example, is found in only five places in the world; it invariably means not only excellent wines and dense human populations, but an abundance of native plant species adapted to the long dry season. Hollywood is named...

  5. 1 Biotic Uniqueness: An Overview
    (pp. 7-28)

    Endemism, or the confinement of species or other taxa to particular geographic areas, can be a slippery concept. Every species is confined to some place; for example, it has been estimated that more than 90 percent of the world’s plant species are found in only one floristic province (Kruckeberg and Rabinowitz 1985). So when do species or places become interesting on account of their “endemism”? Islands with unique floras and faunas provide the clearest answer. It is no accident that the Galápagos were instrumental to Darwin’s thinking. Long-distance colonization, the curtailment of gene flow with close relatives, adaptation to new...

  6. 2 A Brief History of California
    (pp. 29-42)

    Plant and animal diversity in California are clearly linked to the rich complexity of the contemporary landscape, including its rugged topography, (see Figure 1), many climatic zones, varied geologic substrates, and resulting tapestry of vegetation types. This ecological variety has been well described in many places; see, for example, Barbour et al.,Terrestrial Vegetation of California(2007), for plant communities and vegetation; and CDFW,Atlas of the Biodiversity of California(2003), for a pictorial overview of plant and animal diversity in relation to the landscape. This chapter presents a brief overview of how California’s ecological landscape evolved (for other accounts,...

  7. 3 Plant Endemism in California: Patterns and Causes
    (pp. 43-76)

    California’s endemic plants have long been the objects of attention from evolutionary biologists, beginning with classic mid-twentieth-century biosystematics studies ofCeanothus, Layia,and other endemic-rich groups that played an influential role in the modern synthesis of evolution and genetics (Stebbins 1950; see also Smocovitis 1997). Early quantifications of neoendemism and paleoendemism (Stebbins and Major 1965), insular endemism (Raven 1967), and edaphic endemism (Kruckeberg 1954, 1984) in Californian plants gave rise to basic concepts about plant endemism that remain in wide use today. As molecular and phylogenetic techniques have become more prominent, Californian endemic plants have been examined in studies of...

  8. 4 Animal Endemism in California
    (pp. 77-112)

    Animal endemism in California has received little attention, compared to plant endemism, and in general it is clearly lower. According to Stein et al. (2000), there are more endemic vertebrates in California than any other state: 62 full species (8% of all native vertebrates), as compared to 57 species (40%) in Hawaii and 36 species (6%) in Texas. Conservation International (2011) estimates that the California Floristic Province has 70 endemic vertebrates, accounting for 10 percent of its native fauna. Invertebrate endemism data are much scarcer (but see Kimsey 1996 and below). This chapter brings together information on Californian animal endemism...

  9. 5 Conservation Challenges in California’s Endemic-Rich Landscape
    (pp. 113-132)

    California is as well known for rapid human population growth, urban sprawl, and environmental controversies as for biological diversity. Reflecting the pressures on its natural habitats, California has more federally listed species than any other state except for Hawaii, as well as more naturalized non-native plants (currently more than 1,100) (Baldwin et al. 2012). Some of the most endemic-rich natural habitats are under severe threat from habitat conversion, especially urbanizing coastal habitats from San Francisco to San Diego. Because of these pressures and because of its generally environmentally aware public and research infrastructure, California has also been an important center...

  10. 6 Synthesis and Conclusions
    (pp. 133-136)

    Plant endemism does not appear to stimulate animal endemism.One of the striking results from considering Californian plant and animal endemism is the absence of an apparent link between the two. The few animal groups that show very high endemism in California, comparable to the level seen in plants (i.e., slender salamanders, acridid grasshoppers, megachilid bees, phalangogid harvestmen), are not highly specialized on plants as resources. In contrast, relatively low endemism is seen in animal groups known to be highly specific to particular host plants (e.g., butterflies and most other herbivorous insects). Walking sticks in the genusTimemaare a...

  11. APPENDIX: Preliminary List of Plant Species Endemic to the California Floristic Province
    (pp. 137-166)
  12. Literature Cited
    (pp. 167-186)
  13. Index
    (pp. 187-189)