Mining rare Earth elements: Identifying the plant species most threatened by ore extraction in an insular hotspot - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution Year : 2022

Mining rare Earth elements: Identifying the plant species most threatened by ore extraction in an insular hotspot

(1) , (1, 2) , (3, 4, 5) , (3, 4, 5) , (6) , (3) , (1, 7)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Abstract

Conservation efforts in global biodiversity hotspots often face a common predicament: an urgent need for conservation action hampered by a significant lack of knowledge about that biodiversity. In recent decades, the computerisation of primary biodiversity data worldwide has provided the scientific community with raw material to increase our understanding of the shared natural heritage. These datasets, however, suffer from a lot of geographical and taxonomic inaccuracies. Automated tools developed to enhance their reliability have shown that detailed expert examination remains the best way to achieve robust and exhaustive datasets. In New Caledonia, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots worldwide, the plant diversity inventory is still underway, and most taxa awaiting formal description are narrow endemics, hence by definition hard to discern in the datasets. In the meantime, anthropogenic pressures, such as nickel-ore mining, are threatening the unique ultramafic ecosystems at an increasing rate. The conservation challenge is therefore a race against time, as the rarest species must be identified and protected before they vanish. In this study, based on all available datasets and resources, we applied a workflow capable of highlighting the lesser known taxa. The main challenges addressed were to aggregate all data available worldwide, and tackle the geographical and taxonomic biases, avoiding the data loss resulting from automated filtering. Every doubtful specimen went through a careful taxonomic analysis by a local and international taxonomist panel. Geolocation of the whole dataset was achieved through dataset cross-checking, local botanists’ field knowledge, and historical material examination. Field studies were also conducted to clarify the most unresolved taxa. With the help of this method and by analysing over 85,000 data, we were able to double the number of known narrow endemic taxa, elucidate 68 putative new species, and update our knowledge of the rarest species’ distributions so as to promote conservation measures.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
lannuzel_etal_Frontiers_Ecol_Evol_2022.pdf (7.33 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-03740190 , version 1 (29-07-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

Identifiers

Cite

Guillaume Lannuzel, Léa Pouget, David Bruy, Vanessa Hequet, Shankar Meyer, et al.. Mining rare Earth elements: Identifying the plant species most threatened by ore extraction in an insular hotspot. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2022, 10, ⟨10.3389/fevo.2022.952439⟩. ⟨hal-03740190⟩
9 View
6 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More