Scientific article
Open access

Diversity, distribution and conservation status assessment of Paraguayan palms (Arecaceae)

Published inBiodiversity and Conservation, vol. 20, no. 12, p. 2705-2728
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer 
Publication date2011

Indigenous palm species of Paraguay are presented with data on their diversity, distribution, threats and conservation status. The Paraguayan palm flora consists of 23 native species in 11 genera, representing two of the five subfamilies recognized in the group. The palm distribution in the country is strongly related to the different ecoregions present in Paraguay, with number of species by ecoregion being as follow: Cerrado (18), Upper Parana Atlantic forest (6), Wet Chaco (4), Pantanal (2), and Dry Chaco (1). Half of the species display an acaulescent habit reflecting an interesting ecological adaptation to natural fires in the Cerrado. The alarming rate of habitat modification that the country is undergoing since 1940s has put palms under a high risk of extinction in the wild. A GIS model was used to calculate the extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy of the species in order to assess their conservation status applying the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This analysis shows that about 30% of the species are threatened; one species is Critically Endangered, three of them are Endangered, and three are Vulnerable. One species (Acrocomia hassleri) is considered Near Threatened, 13 are Least Concern whereas two species are insufficiently known and therefore unable to be assessed. Important areas for palm conservation in Paraguay were identified, revealing the importance of the Amambay department. Conservation measures for the threatened species identified are proposed.

Citation (ISO format)
GAUTO ESPINOLA, Maria Irène, SPICHIGER, Rodolphe-Edouard, STAUFFER, Fred Walter. Diversity, distribution and conservation status assessment of Paraguayan palms (Arecaceae). In: Biodiversity and Conservation, 2011, vol. 20, n° 12, p. 2705–2728. doi: 10.1007/s10531-011-0100-6
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0960-3115

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