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Unlike globally rare taxa, which are rare with respect to our entire planet, locally rare taxa are those that are rare or uncommon within a local geographical boundary while more common outside of that boundary. Locally rare taxa are frequently composed of peripheral populations located at the edge of the taxon’s overall range. Mannose-binding protein-associated serine protease These populations commonly have significant ecological value (Safriel et al. 1994; Lesica and Allendorf 1995; Leppig and White 2006; Thuiller et al. 2008). They often harbor unique genetic and morphological lineages that provide the opportunity for divergence along novel evolutionary paths through the processes of natural selection (Safriel et al. 1994; Lesica and Allendorf 1995; Gaston 2003). Maintenance of genetic variation by locally rare plants increases the probability of overall species survival (Lesica and Allendorf 1992; Lesica and Allendorf 1995) and locales with peripheral populations often act as refugia during catastrophic range contractions (Safriel et al. 1994; Channell and Lomolino 2000). Peripheral plant populations also provide the flexibility required for responding to stochastic environmental events such as global climate change (Safriel et al. 1994; Smith et al. 2001; Leppig and White 2006; Thuiller et al. 2008).

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