Data from: Impacts of landscape composition, marginality of distribution, soil fertility, and climatic stability on the patterns of woody plant endemism in the Cerrado
de Deus Vidal Jr., João; de Souza, Anete P.; Koch, Ingrid (2019), Data from: Impacts of landscape composition, marginality of distribution, soil fertility, and climatic stability on the patterns of woody plant endemism in the Cerrado, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.06cs1f9
Aim: Although various theories have been proposed to explain the outstanding endemism of plants in the Cerrado, four hypotheses about the mechanisms of diversification and distribution are most supported: (1) plateau/valley, (2) stable/unstable climate, (3) core/peripheral distribution, and (4) soil fertility. The first argues that plateaus harbor more ancient lineages than valleys and therefore presents higher endemism. The second theory suggests that climatic stable environments maintained more paleoendemic species. The third scenario attributes the distribution of endemism to gradients of conditions available to locally adapted species and predicts higher endemism in nuclear than in marginal areas. The last theory suggests that lower fertility soils account for higher endemism due to the habitat specialization of its species. We compared endemism patterns with the predictions of each theory to discuss their importance. Location: Brazil. Time period: Quaternary. Major taxa studied: Angiosperms. Methods: We mapped the endemism using records of 311 plant species of the Cerrado and applied spatial analysis and distribution models to summarize the importance of each predictor of endemism. Results: We identified 28 areas in which the higher endemism of Cerrado plants were concentrated and presented a map of its distribution. We found correlations among endemism, climate stability, elevation, and marginality, which supported the plateau/valley, core/peripheral, and stable/unstable hypotheses. No association between soil fertility and endemism was detected. We propose that plateaus are more stable climatic environments, and this characteristic along with their elevation and centrality are predictive of endemism. Main conclusions: We concluded that most of the endemism is concentrated in overlapping areas of stability of species, which are concentrated in higher elevation central regions. Soil fertility was not linked to endemism. We recommend that central plateaus in the Cerrado require special attention in conservation to optimize the protection of endemic species in the biome.