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TERI Information Digest on Energy and Environment
Year : 2002, Volume : 1, Issue : 1
First page : ( 170) Last page : ( 170)
Print ISSN : 0972-6721.



[226]Marine biodiversity hotspots and conservation priorities for tropical reefs
Roberts CM, Mc Clean CJ, Veron JEN, Hawkins JP, et al. 2001Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse of shallow water marine ecosystems but are being degraded worldwide by human activities and climate warming. Analyses of the geographic ranges of 3235 species of reef fish, corals, snails, and lobsters revealed that between 7.2% and 53.6% of each taxon have highly restricted ranges, rendering them vulnerable to extinction. Restricted-range species are clustered into centres of ende-mism, like those described for terrestrial taxa. The 10 richest centres of endemism cover 15.8% of the world's coral reefs (0.012% of the oceans) but include between 44.8%-54.2% of the restricted-range species. Many occur in regions where reefs are being severely affected by people, potentially leading to numerous extinction. Threatened centres of endemism are major biodiversity hotspots, and conservation efforts targeted toward them could help avert the loss of tropical reef biodiversity.
(3 figures, 2 tables, 30 references)
Environment Department,
University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK


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