Note: This website is no longer being updated and is being maintained for archive purposes by the Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Please see About the Project for further details.

Centres of Plant Diversity
About the project
Table of contents
Link to map of North American regional sitesLink to map of Middle American regional sitesLink to map of South American regional sites

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 About this project:

       This website is part of a three-volume work that contains accounts of nearly 250 major sites for conservation of plant diversity worldwide. Volume 1 covers Europe, the Atlantic Islands, Africa and the islands of the Western Indian Ocean, South West Asia and the Middle East. Volume 2 is concerned with the rest of Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Volume 3, whose web version is presented here, deals with the Americas, and contains six sites in North America, 20 in Middle America, 46 in South America, and three in the Caribbean. This web version of the printed volume contains all the same material, with an easy-to-use search engine and additional pictures.
        The 75 sites have been selected partly on the basis of floristic studies, but especially with reference to the detailed knowledge of over 100 botanists familiar with this region. The Data Sheet for each site is set within a regional context, outlining wider patterns of plant distributions, threats and conservation efforts. Additional sites are mentioned in each of the regional overviews. The Regional Overviews include very useful tables giving information on species richness and endemism, floristic diversity and endemism by region, degree of threat to CPD sites, and an analysis of the conservation status of CPD sites. The rationale for the project is the concern about the rapid global loss and degradation of natural ecosystems and the urgent need to highlight areas of pristine botanical importance, with the hope that these will receive adequate levels of resources to ensure their protection.
         This work is essential reading for all those concerned with planning land use strategies for conservation and appropriate development. It is with hope that this global assessment will be followed by further assessments at the local level, so that the vital tasks of conservation of plant diversity can be well integrated in detail into national and regional conservation and development strategies.

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