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How Many Species of Seed Plants Are There?

Robert W. Scotland and Alexandra H. Wortley
Taxon
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 101-104
DOI: 10.2307/3647306
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3647306
Page Count: 4
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How Many Species of Seed Plants Are There?
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Abstract

Recent estimates of the number of described species of seed plant have varied by as much as 62%. The underlying methodology of these estimates is characterised and discussed. We present a revised figure for the number of seed plants based on estimating rates of synonymy in a sample of recently monographed taxa. We conclude that some recent figures overestimate the number of described seed plant species by more than 200,000. This discrepancy is explained by an over-reliance on checklists and floristic studies that underestimate synonymy rates.

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