Biodiversity means comprising every living organism, and hotspots connotes intense activities. So, biodiversity hotspots means a place of intense biological activities or interactions of organisms. Whenever such place perceives any kind of external threats, it is termed as biological hotspots. Let’s know the hotspots of biodiversity meaning and examples.
Biological hotspots = huge number of organisms + perceived threats
Our earth is the cradle of billions of species of plants and animals due to its unique life supporting mechanism that we cannot find elsewhere.
But, at the same time, we know that concentration of these precious biotic resources aren’t noticed evenly distributed.
There are very few areas that have huge concentration of endemic species. And, due to various reasons, these areas are under serious threats.
What is purpose of biodiversity hotspots?
“Biodiversity hotspots” is a targeted move by global community to conserve the species diversity in the most important, yet sensitive areas of the natural world.
Rationale behind this initiative is to achieve two main objectives — to save these precious biotic resources from the threat of extinction and conserve to ensure species and genetic diversity for more procreation of newer one.
Pioneer of hotspots of biodiversity?
“Hotspots of biodiversity” is a brainchild of British ecologists “Norman Myers” who coined this concept in the late twentieth century. He was the first who noticed the loss of various tropical species of plants and animals, and emphasized the importance to design a proper conservation methods for rejuvenation.
Later, it was the Conservation International organization (CI) adopted Norman’s concept of hotspots of biodiversity and elaborated that term by adding proper criterion.
Meaning and definition of hotspots
Hotspots are particular geographical yet ecologically sensitive regions of higher concentration of species diversity of endemic species, including plants and animals.
“In short, these are certain territorial regions where one could find huge concentration of endemic species with greater degree of external threats”.
At the present, across the world, around 35 regions are identified as hotspots of biodiversity that constitute mere less than three percent of earth’s surface so far. These regions are identified by none other than the nodal international environmental agency — IUCN (International union for conservation of nature).
What is Criterion of hotspots of biodiversity?
To be qualified as a hotspots of biodiversity, a region should have at least 1500 endemic vascular plants species that we cannot find elsewhere. In short, these species should be irreplaceable in other regions.
Second, such region must have at least around 30 percent of its original biotic cover. Simply, it should have identified as threatened regions by rigorous studies.
As I stated earlier that at the present, there are 35 regions are recognized as the hotspots of biodiversity by IUCN. These hotspots includes around 40 percent endemic species of various animals. Here is the list of hotspots:–
Examples of hotspots of biodiversity
All these regions are identified as hotspots of biodiversity by IUCN to focus on preservation, conservation, and protection of highly threatened yet precious endemic species of respective regions.
I) African regions
- Cape Floristic Region
- Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa
- Eastern Afromontane
- Guinean Forests of West Africa
- Horn of Africa
- Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands
- Succulent Karoo
II) Asia-Pacific regions
- East Melanesian Islands
- Mountains of Southwest China
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Southwest Australia
- Forests of Eastern Australia (new)
- Western Ghats and Sri Lanka
III) Europe and Central Asia regions
- Mediterranean Basin
- Mountains of Central Asia
IV) North and Central America regions
- California Floristic Province
- Caribbean Islands
- Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands
V) South America regions
- Atlantic Forest
- Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests
- Tropical Andes
This is all about the hotspots of biodiversity meaning and examples. Hopefully, it will help you learners.