Montane refugia for endemic and Red Listed dragonflies in the Cape Floristic Region biodiversity hotspot

Grant P.B.C. ; Samways M.J. (2007)


One of the features of many endemic organisms is that they are highly spatially restricted, and habitat specialists. The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (KBR) is a major centre of plant endemism within a global hotspot, the Cape Floristic Region (CFR). Dragonflies in this botanical hotspot have a range of habitat specialization from narrow-range specialists to widespread generalists, with an unusually strong bias towards the specialists. A huge 53% of dragonfly individuals and 26% of taxa recorded are national endemics, and three species are Red Listed. Thus, a group of predatory insects, which are largely not dependent on plant composition, mirrors the level of habitat specialization and restricted distributions of the plants at the spatial scale of the whole reserve. Although some studies caution the use of one taxon as a surrogate for another, the results here show that at the reserve scale in this global hotspot there can be remarkable concordance, suggesting further studies on other taxa should be carried out to determine the full extent of taxonomic concordance in this irreplaceable area. © 2006 Springer.

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