Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals

Safi, Kamran; Armour-Marshall, Katrina; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Isaac, Nick J.B. ORCID: 2013 Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals. PLoS ONE, 8 (5), e63582. 9, pp.

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Background: Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The “EDGE of Existence” programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE). Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. Methods and Principal Findings: Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. Conclusions: Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 04 Jun 2013 08:42 +0 (UTC)

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