Distribution and rarity of Mezilaurus (Lauraceae) species in Brazil

Abstract This study aimed to present a review on known distribution of Mezilaurus species from Brazil and investigate whether the potential distribution and the conservation status of the species can be studied based on herbarium data. The potential distribution of Mezilaurus species was modeled using the Brazilian Floral and Fungal Biogeography system. A total of 804 records of 16 Brazilian species of Mezilaurus was found. The percentage of total loss of records was very high (58.3%), especially due to lack of georeferencing and the sampling determiner (56.4%). Analysis of the known distribution revealed new information for M. lindaviana, M. navalium, M. sprucei, M. subcordata, M. synandra and M. vanderwerffii. The potential distribution models showed good results for M. itauba, M. crassiramea and M. synandra; however, were strongly influenced by the number of records. The analysis of rarity showed that fifty percent of the species presented a high degree of rarity because they occur in restricted areas and habitat and scanty populations. The situation of conservation based on the classification of rarity using herbarium records showed some failures regarding the classification of the population size; however, they showed good results on the geographic range and habitat of the species.