Factors of detection deficits in vascular plant inventories - an island case study.
The degree of completeness of large-scale floristic inventories is often difficult to judge. We compared prior vascular plant species inventories of the Mediterranean island of Limnos (North Aegean, Greece) with 231 recent records from 2016-2021. Together with the recent records, the known number of vascular plant species on the island is 960 native taxa, 63 established neophytes, and 27 species of as yet casual status for a total of 1050 taxa. We looked at a number of traits (plant family, size, flower color, perceptibility, habitat, reproduction period, rarity, and status) to investigate whether they were overrepresented in the dataset of the newly found taxa. Overrepresentation was found in some plant families (e.g., Poaceae and Chenopodiaceae) and for traits such as hydrophytic life form, unobtrusive flower color, coastal as well as agricultural and ruderal habitats, and late (summer/autumn) reproduction period. Apart from the well-known fact of esthetic bias, we found evidence for ecological and perceptibility biases. Plant species inventories based on prior piecemeal collated data should focus on regionally specific species groups and underrepresented and rare habitats.