Original Research

Geographical distribution of present-day Cape taxa and their phytogeographical significance

E. G. H. Oliver, H. P. Linder, J. P. Rourke
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1189 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1189 | © 1983 E. G. H. Oliver, H. P. Linder, J. P. Rourke | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

About the author(s)

E. G. H. Oliver, Botanical Research Unit. Department of Agriculture, South Africa
H. P. Linder, Botanical Research Institute. Department of Agriculture, c/o Bolus Herbarium, University of Cape Town, South Africa
J. P. Rourke, Compton Herbarium, National Botanical Gardens of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

The Cape Flora, one of the six floral kingdoms recognized by phytogeographers, is remarkable for its species richness and high degree of endemism, but no overall statistics are as yet available. Several long-term projects have recently been started to enumerate all the species and to record their distribution patterns. The latter aspect has been completed for 1 936 species from the three most characteristic families, i.e. Restionaceae. Ericaceae and Proteaceae, the endemic families and some of the largest genera, i. e. Aspalathus and Muraltia. Computer analysis of the distribution patterns is being undertaken and the species concentrations and centres of endemism are being calculated. The concentration of species in the mountains of the south-western Cape is confirmed and the grid square 3418 BB is found to be the richest. For the groups dealt with, the degree of endemism was found to be as high as 98%. The phytogeographical centres so far outlined agree with those of Weimarck.


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