Abundance, distribution and conservation significance of regionally endemic plant species on Anegada, British Virgin Islands
The conservation significance of the Caribbean island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands is highlighted in this study of the distribution of plant species in two major habitats, sand dunes and limestone pavement. In 104 plots along 27 transects located around the western salt ponds of the Anegada Ramsar site, 133 plant species were recorded, including five regional endemics. The limestone pavement supported large populations of Acacia anegadensis, endemic to Anegada, and Cordia rupicola, known only from Anegada and Puerto Rico (although the Puerto Rican population is thought to be extirpated). The sand dunes supported a large population of Metastelma anegadense, also endemic to Anegada. Two other regional endemics were recorded within the limestone cays, Leptocereus quadricostatus, previously known from only one locality in Puerto Rico and Malpighia woodburyana, restricted to a few small populations on islands on the Puerto Rican Bank. For both of these species Anegada supports the largest known individual population.(Received May 16 2003)
(Revised November 17 2003)
(Accepted March 25 2004)
Key Words: Acacia anegadensis; Anegada; British Virgin Islands; Cordia rupicola; endemic; Leptocereus quadricostatus; Malpighia woodburyana; Metastelma anegadense.
c1 Correspondence: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, UK. E-mail email@example.com