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Investing in evolutionary history: implementing a phylogenetic approach for mammal conservation.

Collen, B; Turvey, ST; Waterman, C; Meredith, HMR; Kuhn, TS; Baillie, JEM; Isaac, NJB; (2011) Investing in evolutionary history: implementing a phylogenetic approach for mammal conservation. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 366 (1578) pp. 2611-2622. 10.1098/rstb.2011.0109.

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Abstract

Under the impact of human activity, global extinction rates have risen a thousand times higher than shown in the fossil record. The resources available for conservation are insufficient to prevent the loss of much of the world's threatened biodiversity during this crisis. Conservation planners have been forced to prioritize their protective activities, in the context of great uncertainty. This has become known as 'the agony of choice'. A range of methods have been proposed for prioritizing species for conservation attention; one of the most strongly supported is prioritizing those species that maximize phylogenetic distinctiveness (PD). We evaluate how a composite measure of extinction risk and phylogenetic isolation (EDGE) has been used to prioritize species according to their degree of unique evolutionary history (evolutionary distinctiveness, ED) weighted by conservation urgency (global endangerment, GE). We review PD-based approaches and provide an updated list of EDGE mammals using the 2010 IUCN Red List. We evaluate how robust this method is to changes in phylogenetic uncertainty, knowledge of taxonomy and extinction risk, and examine how mammalian species that rank highly in EDGE score are representative of the collective from which they are drawn.

Type: Article
Title: Investing in evolutionary history: implementing a phylogenetic approach for mammal conservation.
Location: England
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0109
Keywords: Animals, Biological Evolution, Conservation of Natural Resources, Genotype, Mammals, Phenotype, Phylogeny, Quantitative Trait Loci, Statistics, Nonparametric
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of) > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1390116
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