Oceanic islands are known for their high levels of plant diversity, due to disjunct geographical distribution that leads to speciation. The main factors contributing to genetic speciation includes the creation of a barrier within a previously widely distributed taxon and the limited dispersal of seeds, which favours genetic differentiation and, thus, fosters rapid speciation. Plant survival and population fitness vary according to environmental factors and to human interference. This chapter depicts the importance of oceanic islands as biodiversity hotspots, discusses the threats to which endemic plants on islands are exposed, namely climate change, invasive alien species, urbanisation, touristic activities, fire, changes in agriculture practices and collecting pressure. The best practices worldwide to protect endemic plant species in protected areas are also addressed, namely the implementation of prevention and mitigation actions, the programs executed to protect endemic species, and management plans to avoid future threats.
Part of the book: Protected Area Management