CENTRES OF PLANT DIVERSITY. WWF - IUCN, 1994-1997 . The concept of sites or centres of high biodiversity has attracted the attention of conservationists, both as a tool for helping determine which areas should receive priority attention, and also as a challenge as to how to undertake the conservation action necessary, specially as the areas of high diversity are most found in developing countries which usually have limited human and financial resources available for this purpose.
The objectives of the Centres of Plant Diversity project are:
To identify which areas around the world, if conserved, would safeguard the greatest number of plant species.
To document the many benefits, economic and scientific, that conservation of those areas would bring to society and to outline the potential value of each for sustainable development.
To outline a strategy for the conservation of the areas selected.
The criteria adopted for the selection of sites and vegetation types was based principally on a requirement that each must have one of the following two characteristics:
The area is evidently species-rich, even though the number of species present may not be
The area is known to contain a large number of species endemic to it.
The following characteristics were also considered in the selection:
The site contains an important genepool of plants of value to humans or that are potentially
The site contains a diverse range of habitat types.
The site contains a significant proportion of species adapted to special edaphic conditions.
The site is threatened or under imminent threat of large scale devastation.
The project considers 234 sites which have been selected for detailed treatment, 14 of which are totally or partially included within Mexico and two more that are located directly adjacent to its international borders with the presence of similar ecosystems and species within them.
Site North America
Area Km² Altitude Range
NA16 NA16b NA16g
California Floristic Province (Peninsular Ranges) Guadalupe Island (17 local endemics) Vernal Pools (California & Baja California)
- 4,418 m
-600 (to 2500 m)
Lacandon Rainforest region
Uxpanapa - Chimalapa region
Sierra de Juarez
Tehuacan - Cuicatlan region
Cañón del Zopilote region
Sierra de Manantlan region
Pacific lowlands Chamela-Cuixmala, Jal.
Upper Mezquital River region Sierra Madre Occ.
Goméz Farías region and El Cielo
Cuatro Cienegas region
Central region Baja California Peninsula
80 - 1,750 m 80 - 2,250 m 500 - 3,250 m 600 - 2,200 m 600 - 3,550 m 400 - 2,860 m
- 3,350 m
- 2,200 m
- 3,000 m
- 3,500 m
- 1,985 m
Sites not located in Mexico but adjacent to Mexi Peten region and Maya BR Edwards Plateau, Texas
co s internatio
200 4,000 3,500 2,000 2,700
2,000 2,800 1,120 2,900
500 3,000 2,300