J Syst Evol ›› 2021, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (1): 141-150.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12559

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Species richness and phylogenetic diversity of different growth forms of angiosperms across a biodiversity hotspot in the horn of Africa

Ya-Dong Zhou1,2,3† , Biyansa Hirpo Boru4†, Sheng-Wei Wang1,5† , and Qing-Feng Wang1,2,3*   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    2Center of Conservation Biology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    3Sino‐Africa Joint Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    4Ambo University, Oromia, 19 Ambo, Ethiopia
    5University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-11-21 Accepted:2019-12-17 Online:2019-12-20 Published:2021-01-01

Abstract: Woody and herbaceous plants are differentially influenced by the environment, with non‐random association with the evolutionary history of these taxa and their traits. In general, woody plants may have climate‐dominated niches, whereas herbaceous plants may have edaphic and microhabitat‐dominated niches. Here, we explored and mapped how the patterns of species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and structures of total, woody, and herbaceous plants vary across the geographical regions and with respect to 12 environmental variables across Ethiopia and Eritrea, in the horn of Africa. Our result showed that both richness and phylogenetic diversity had almost the same tendency in total woody and herbaceous plants, in which they showed positive relationships with annual precipitation, precipitation annual range of climate, all the three variables of topography, and total nitrogen and total extractable phosphorus of soil, and negative relations with mean annual temperature. Compared with the total and herbaceous plants, the environmental variables explained greater variance both in the standardized effect size phylogenetic diversity and net relatedness index for woody plants. Our results highlight that, on the large spatial scales, the environmental filtering process has played a greater role in structuring species into local communities for woody plants than for herbaceous plants.

Key words: environmental variable, Ethiopia and Eritrea, flora, phylogenetic diversity, woody and herbaceous