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ESR 46:175-184 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01154

Impact of an IUCN national Red List of threatened flora on scientific attention

Renon S. Andrade*, Leandro Freitas

Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, CEP 20460-030, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Red Lists are thought to attract attention to the conservation of threatened species. Determining the impact of these lists on the attention of scientists is a matter of consequence for biodiversity conservation. We evaluated trends in mentions of Brazilian angiosperm plants in the biodiversity conservation literature and tested the effect of the Red List of Brazilian Flora (RLBF) publication on these mentions. We collected mentions in the literature available in Google Scholar from the years 1990-2020, for 2449 Brazilian angiosperm species assessed in different IUCN categories. We used a Bayesian structural time-series method to test the effect of the RLBF publication on the number of mentions for the set of species in the IUCN categories, angiosperm families, and plants of commercial interest. The results showed a gap in mentions for many threatened and Data Deficient species in the scientific literature. We also found that the mentions were biased toward species of commercial interest and were unrelated to their threat status. Publication of the RLBF positively affected the number of mentions for IUCN threat categories and for more than half of the angiosperm families. These results were obtained after a few species of commercial interest were excluded from each treated group. This study suggests that the Red List assessments are essential to determine priorities for resource allocation to scientific activities. However, this effect was not sufficient to reduce the bias in scientific attention. Our findings support the need to stimulate more effective programs to fund research on threatened plant species.


KEY WORDS: Plants · Bibliometric analysis · Data Deficient · Threatened species · Conservation priorities · Extinction risk


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Cite this article as: Andrade RS, Freitas L (2021) Impact of an IUCN national Red List of threatened flora on scientific attention. Endang Species Res 46:175-184. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01154

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