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Complete, accurate, mammalian phylogenies aid conservation planning, but not much


Rodrigues, ASL and Grenyer, R and Baillie, JEM and Bininda-Emonds, ORP and Gittlemann, JL and Hoffmann, M and Safi, K and Schipper, J and Stuart, SN and Brooks, T, Complete, accurate, mammalian phylogenies aid conservation planning, but not much, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 366, (1578) pp. 2652-2660. ISSN 0962-8436 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 The Royal Society

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0104


In the face of unprecedented global biodiversity loss, conservation planning must balance between refining and deepening knowledge versus acting on current information to preserve species and communities. Phylogenetic diversity (PD), a biodiversity measure that takes into account the evolutionary relationships between species, is arguably a more meaningful measure of biodiversity than species diversity, but cannot yet be applied to conservation planning for the majority of taxa for which phylogenetic trees have not yet been developed. Here, we investigate how the quality of data on the taxonomy and/or phylogeny of species affects the results of spatial conservation planning in terms of the representation of overall mammalian PD. The results show that the better the quality of the biodiversity data the better they can serve as a basis for conservation planning. However, decisions based on incomplete data are remarkably robust across different levels of degrading quality concerning the description of new species and the availability of phylogenetic information. Thus, given the level of urgency and the need for action, conservation planning can safely make use of the best available systematic data, limited as these data may be.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:complementarity; conservation planning; evolutionary history; mammals; phylogenetic diversity; surrogacy
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Brooks, T (Dr Thomas Brooks)
ID Code:78045
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:50
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2012-06-13
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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