g Davis et al 1997; Bates and Demos 2001) It has been suggeste

g. Davis et al. 1997; Bates and Demos 2001). It has been suggested to be exceptionally species-rich (e.g. Kress et al. 1998; Ruokolainen et al. 2002; Schulman et al. 2007; Saatchi et al. 2008), which has been explained by habitat heterogeneity in combination with historical events (de Oliveira and Daly 1999; de Oliveira and Mori 1999) such as river dynamics and geological GPCR & G Protein inhibitor history. In a global overview on species richness within ecoregions, Kier et al. (2005) suggested that the majority of ecoregions from the Andes to the Brazilian coast are very species-rich,

but they placed the Chocó and parts of the northern Andes along with the entire Cerrado Inhibitor Library screening as the most species-rich zones. This contrasts with the patterns we detected for Amazonia, where we identified highest species richness, and for the Cerrado, where we identified high species richness only in the peripheral zones.

The diversity zones of a global comparison of vascular plants (Barthlott et al. 2005) differ from ours mainly in that they are much less pronounced for southwestern Amazonia. In comparison with a plot-based model of Amazonian tree diversity (ter Steege et al. 2003), Belnacasan manufacturer the Amazonian diversity center we found is spatially more uniform and includes parts of lower Amazonia as well. Our species richness map (Fig. 3c) also differs from the maps of Amazonia presented by Hopkins (2007) and ranges in between his overall species richness map (generated

by a bootstrap approach based on species occurrences) and the species richness map generated by the overlay of extrapolated species ranges. Temsirolimus purchase The latter method is comparable to the one applied here, but some differences exist: (1) our approach is more conservative seeking to avoid overestimation and avoiding disproportionate influence of widespread species on distribution patterns, (2) we applied a weighed interpolation approach (as opposed to using only one interpolation distance), (3) we used a larger number of species and we also were able to consider a larger area. The species richness estimates were validated by LOOCV to specify the robustness of the species ranges and therefore the robustness of the derived species richness map. Thus, the differences in the robustness depicted in Table 2 are due the spatial distribution of the species occurrences and give an indication of how heavily the prediction relies on information from single points. Observations from single points are important (1) when only few observations exist, and the information from one point represents a larger area, (2) for species that are widespread and only loosely connected and (3) for species with restricted distribution. In all cases leaving out single observations might lead to considerably smaller species ranges, and consequently to lower predicted species richness in the quadrats affected.

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