|Irl, S; Beierkuhnlein, C: Distribution of endemic plant species on an oceanic island – a geospatial analysis of La Palma (Canary Islands), Procedia Environmental Sciences(7), 170-175 (2011)|
Plant species distribution on oceanic islands is primarily determined by environmental limitations. Especially endemic species display a strong dependency on climatic conditions as a consequence of their limited distribution. Under such circumstances, environmental changes may cause not only the extinction of local populations, but of whole species. Thus, climate change can be considered a potential threat to island biodiversity. Research objectives involve identifying the main ecological drivers responsible for species distribution on La Palma and giving an outlook on future perspectives. High resolution GIS data and a presence/absence dataset were used for the analysis. Metric data was correlated using simple regressions. The dataset reflects the spatial and ecological distribution of the potential environmental niches very well. In respect to further research, the island of La Palma can be considered to serve as an ideal system for environmental niche modeling.