Aarón Rodríguez, Arturo Castro-Castro, Georgina Vargas-Amado, Ofelia Vargas-Ponce, Pilar Zamora-Tavares, Jesús González-Gallegos, Pablo Carrillo-Reyes, Marco Anguiano-Constante, Marco Carrasco-Ortiz, Miguel García-Martínez, Brandon Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Juvenal Aragón-Parada, Christian Valdes-Ibarra and Guadalupe Munguía-Lino
2018, 56 (5): 537–549
Mexico is a megadiverse country. Presently, 22 126 species of angiosperms have been registered within its territory and 11 001 are considered to be endemic. However, their geographical distributions are far from homogeneous. In addition, Mexico is the center of diversification of several groups. Our analysis focused on such groups. The aims were to identify areas of species richness and endemism. A data matrix with 766 species and 25 579 geographical records was analyzed. It included Calochortus (Liliaceae); Bletia (Orchidaceae); Tigridieae (Iridaceae); Amaryllidaceae; Poliantheae, Echeandia (Asparagaceae); Crassulaceae; Hylocereus (Cactaceae); Solanum, Lycianthes and Physalinae (Solanaceae); Salvia section Membranaceae (Lamiaceae); and Cosmos and Dahlia (Asteraceae). Using Geographic Information Systems, we determined richness and distribution based on: (i) Mexican political divisions, (ii) biogeographical regions and provinces, (iii) a grid of 0.5 × 0.5° cells, and (iv) elevation. The areas of endemism were estimated using the endemicity analysis. The highest number of taxa and endemic plants were concentrated within the Transmexican Volcanic Belt in the Mexican Transition Zone. This mountain range has been recognized as a province on the basis of geologic, tectonic, geomorphologic, physiographic and biogeographic criteria. It is a 1000 km long volcanic arc that extends east to west through Central Mexico and is variably from 80 to 230 km wide, between 17°30′ to 20°25′N and 96°20′ to 105°20′W. Our results represent a local deviation from the global richness latitudinal gradient of angiosperm species.