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3.2.4 VEGETATION

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

accurately known.

  • -

    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

useful.

  • -

    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.

Code

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)

324,000 20,000

  • 0

    - 4,418 m

    • 0

      -600 (to 2500 m)

MA1

Lacandon Rainforest region

6,000

MA2

Uxpanapa - Chimalapa region

7,700

MA3

Sierra de Juarez

1,700

MA4

Tehuacan - Cuicatlan region

9,000

MA5

Cañón del Zopilote region

4,383

MA6

Sierra de Manantlan region

1,396

MA7

Pacific lowlands Chamela-Cuixmala, Jal.

350

MA8

Upper Mezquital River region Sierra Madre Occ.

4,600

MA9

Goméz Farías region and El Cielo

2,400

MA10

Cuatro Cienegas region

2,000

MA11

Apachian/Madrean region

180,000

MA12

Central region Baja California Peninsula

36,000

MA13 NA32

Central America

80 - 1,750 m 80 - 2,250 m 500 - 3,250 m 600 - 2,200 m 600 - 3,550 m 400 - 2,860 m

0

-

500 m

800

- 3,350 m

200

- 2,200 m

740

- 3,000 m

500

- 3,500 m

0

- 1,985 m

Sites not located in Mexico but adjacent to Mexi Peten region and Maya BR Edwards Plateau, Texas

co s internatio

nal borders

36,000 100,000

10 100

  • -

    800 m

  • -

    1,000 m

Flora

2,440

  • >

    200 4,000 3,500 2,000 2,700

    • >

      2,000 2,800 1,120 2,900

    • >

      1,000

860 4,000

  • >

    500 3,000 2,300

79

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