2009). Comparison with other
regions A regionalization of the Netherlands already exists for vascular plants (Weeda 1990) and breeding birds (Kwak and van den Berg 2004). Based on the distribution of vascular plant species, 22 phytogeographical districts can be recognized for the Netherlands. According to the distribution of breeding bird species, the Netherlands can be Danusertib manufacturer divided into 18 separate districts. A general notion in ecology is that faunistic distributions may follow those of vegetation, as vegetation provides habitat for animals, birds, and insects. Sjörs (1965) suggested that especially in northern Europe, where there are few dispersal barriers and little endemism, there should be a high Epacadostat supplier degree of similarity between faunistic regions and vegetation zones. There are indeed a ACP-196 chemical structure number of similarities between the phytogeographical districts and the regions distinguished in this study. A dune district, a fen district (though less extended in the multi-taxon analysis), and the southern Limburg district are distinguished within both classifications. However, in certain regions, the phytogeographical districts differ in a fundamental way from the multi-taxon regions. The phytogeographical partitioning of the Pleistocene sand plateaus into two separate districts is not confirmed by the multi-taxon approach.
Also Brabant and also the central southeastern part of the country are, according to the multi-taxon analysis, not as different as the phytogeographical districts indicate. Furthermore, the division of the dune region into a phytogeographical Wadden and Renodunaal district is only present in the distribution of moss species. This can be explained by the fact that both vascular plants and mosses have a much stronger link with physical conditions than fauna has. The major difference between the breeding bird districts and the multi-taxon regions concerns
the fen areas. According to distributional patterns of breeding bird species, the fen areas of Noord-Holland and Utrecht can be distinguished as a separate region, different from the fen areas of Friesland and Groningen. However, rigorous comparison of these different classifications remains difficult, as the aims and methods as well as the levels of classification differ. Implications for nature conservation Biogeographical regions should have characteristic species, correspond to a restricted range of environments, and show a certain degree of geographical congruence (Carey et al. 1995). Therefore, biogeographical classifications comprise a useful framework for the conservation of biodiversity (Whitehead et al. 1992; Palmer 1999; Whittaker et al. 2005). In this study we were able to identify five regions in the Netherlands that meet these requirements.