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Comparing and contrasting threat assessments of plant species at the global and sub‑global level

Ross Mounce; Malin Rivers; Suzanne Sharrock; , Paul Smith; Samuel Brockington

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    <subfield code="a">Malin Rivers</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Suzanne Sharrock</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">, Paul Smith</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Ross Mounce</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Comparing and contrasting threat assessments of plant species at the global and sub‑global level</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;ABSTRACT&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;Evidence-based assessments of extinction risk are established tools used to inform the&lt;br&gt;
conservation of plant species, and form the basis of key targets within the framework of the&lt;br&gt;
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). An overall picture of plants threat assessments&lt;br&gt;
is challenging due to the use of a variety of methodologies and range in scope from global to&lt;br&gt;
subnational. In this study, we quantify the state of progress in assessing the extinction risk of all&lt;br&gt;
land plants, determine the key geographic and taxonomic gaps with respect to our understanding&lt;br&gt;
of plant extinction risk, and evaluate the impact of different sources and methodologies on the&lt;br&gt;
utility of plant assessments. To this end, we have analyzed a cleaned dataset compiled from&lt;br&gt;
IUCN Red List of threatened Species and Regional Red Lists. We reveal that there are&lt;br&gt;
assessments available for 89,810 distinct species or 25% of all accepted land plant species.&lt;br&gt;
However unlike with other major organismal lineages the bulk of the plant species assessments&lt;br&gt;
are derived from Regional Red Lists, and not the global IUCN Red List. We demonstrate that&lt;br&gt;
this bias towards regional assessments results in distinct taxonomic and geographic strengths and&lt;br&gt;
weaknesses, and we identify substantial taxonomic and geographic gaps in the assessment&lt;br&gt;
coverage. With species that have been assessed in common at both global and regional levels, we&lt;br&gt;
explore the implications of deriving threat assessments from different sources. We find that half&lt;br&gt;
of global and regional assessments do not agree on the exact category of extinction risk for a&lt;br&gt;
species. As expected, regional assessments tend to assign a higher risk of extinction, however&lt;br&gt;
worryingly regional assessments underestimate extinction risk with almost equal frequency. We&lt;br&gt;
conclude with recommended interventions, but support the suggestion that all threat assessments&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;3 should be pooled to provide a more data for GSPC targets.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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