JOURNAL FOR NATURE CONSERVATION, vol.18, no.4, pp.296-303, 2010 (SCI-Expanded)
Documenting the basic patterns of biodiversity and accurately determining the priority areas are the first steps for conservation studies. Threatened species and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Lists are among the widely used tools to identify protected areas. Turkey is one of the most important biodiversity centres in the world. The plant diversity of Turkey with over 30% endemic species of approximately 12000 natural vascular plant taxa is well documented through use of a Grid System. However, Turkey has suffered heavy anthropogenic effects having been a settlement for many civilisations throughout the history of humankind. Therefore, Turkey needs a quantitative evaluation of the importance of different grid squares for conserving plant diversity. This paper offers a quantitative approach for aiding the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation by analysing the threatened plants in each grid square in terms of endemism, risk categories and distribution characteristics. The grid squares (nearly 220 x 170 km(2)) were then classified within four different groups in terms of their conservation importance. This national-level information can be used for further research and decision-making processes for conservation planning. (C) 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.