AbstractClustering methods based on environmental variables are useful in the planning of conservation strategies for species and ecosystems. However, there is a lack of work on the regionalization of the vast space of North Africa and the distribution of plant species. The current lists of endemic plants are focused mostly on an occurrence at the country level and not on regions with different conditions. The aim of this work was to lay out an environmental scheme for northwest Africa and to collect data about the occurrence of endemic plants in this area. Clustering with 12 of 33 tested environmental rasters was performed to divide the Maghreb into environmental clusters. Then, a list of 1618 endemic plant taxa (1243 species and 375 subspecies) was prepared and their distribution in estimated environmental clusters was examined. Eleven clusters with different conditions were estimated. The main drivers of regionalization were temperature amplitude, precipitation seasonality, and precipitation of the warmest quarter. According to the occurrence of endemic plants, northwest Africa may be divided into three zones: Atlas, Mediterranean (two environmental clusters), and southern zone (eight environmental clusters). The presented results provide a good basis for understanding the spatial patterns of the Maghreb, including its environment and species diversity. A designed list of endemic plant species together with environmental data may facilitate the planning of future research in north Africa and arranging methods of biodiversity protection.
AbstractThe present study aims to assess the extent of trace metal pollution in the sediments of Sita-Swarna estuary, west coast of India, and investigate their possible ecological risk on the aquatic environment. The sediment cores were analyzed for sand, silt, clay, organic carbon, and trace metals (Al, Fe, Mn, As, Cd, Co, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cu) at 2-cm intervals. The study revealed that sediments have deposited in relatively violent to very violent hydrodynamic energy conditions. Factor analysis indicated that the metal distribution is mainly controlled by Fe–Mn oxyhydroxides and organic carbon. Further, the geochemical approach, pollution indices, and statistical evaluation revealed moderate pollution in the catchment. From an ecotoxicological perspective, the estimated risk index (RI) value was found to less than 150, indicating low risk for aquatic life. Thus, this baseline study would help to adopt strategies in pollution control and protect the fragile marine environment.