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ESR prepress abstract   -  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

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Red Lists supposedly 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 Red List of Brazilian Flora (RLBF) publication on these mentions. We collected mentions in the literature available at Google Scholar, from the years 1990 to 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 commercial-interest plants. 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 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 research-funding programs for threatened plant species.