Biodiversity Conservation and Phylogenetic Systematics

395 Pages · 2016 · 11.83 MB · English

  • Biodiversity Conservation and Phylogenetic Systematics

    Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation


    Philippex00Grandcolas E ditors



    and Phylogenetic


    Preserving our evolutionary heritage

    in an extinction crisis Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation

    Volume 14 More information about this series at h ttp://www.springer.com/series/7488 Roseli Pellens (cid:129) Philippe Grandcolas


    Biodiversity Conservation

    and Phylogenetic Systematics

    Preserving our evolutionary heritage in an

    extinction crisis

    With the support of Labex BCDIV and ANR BIONEOCAL Editors

    Roseli Pellens Philippe Grandcolas

    Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Institut de Systématique, Evolution,

    Biodiversité, ISYEB – UMR 7205 Biodiversité, ISYEB – UMR 7205


    Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle

    Sorbonne Universités Sorbonne Universités

    Paris , France Paris , France

    ISSN 1875-1288 ISSN 1875-1296 (electronic)

    Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation

    ISBN 978-3-319-22460-2 ISBN 978-3-319-22461-9 (eBook)

    DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-22461-9

    Library of Congress Control Number: 2015960738

    Springer Cham Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London

    © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016 . The book is published with open access at


    Chapter 15 was created within the capacity of an US governmental employment. US copyright protection

    does not apply.

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    Printed on acid-free paper

    Springer International Publishing AG Switzerland is part of Springer Science+Business Media

    (www.springer.com) Foreword

    The desperate, and seemingly inexorably worsening, state of biodiversity on Earth

    is arguably not a consequence of conscious choices. That is much of the problem.

    There are undoubtedly cases, and many of them, in which people made explicit

    decisions to forgo the variety of life naturally present in a given area in favour of

    some alternative benefi t (e.g. agricultural activity, energy production, housing).

    However, by and large, the global losses of species, and the reductions in the abun-

    dances and distributions of increasingly the majority of others, are the outcome of

    outright ignorance of the impacts of anthropogenic activities, of underestimation or

    misunderstanding of the impacts of those activities, and, perhaps most signifi cantly,

    a host of individual decisions which whilst independently perhaps quite rational

    have led to a combined pressure on biodiversity that is far from what it can sustain.

    The fi eld of conservation biology has done much to highlight the status and

    trends in biodiversity, but especially the need for active and explicit choices as to its

    future. Frustrating as is their failure to date to be realized, the establishment of base-

    lines and targets for biodiversity at regional, national and global scales is the logical

    framework within which decisions can properly be made as to what environmental

    changes and management actions are and are not carried forward, and with what

    consequences. The ‘agony of choice’ needs to be a real choice, albeit the agony may

    not always be avoided.

    Key to determining baselines and targets, and what choices to make, is deciding

    which metric to use to discriminate between different outcomes, and particularly to

    compare those of current actions with alternatives. This book provides a cogent

    argument for the use of phylogenetic diversity as a key metric – that is, measures of

    biodiversity that capture evolutionary history – and phylogenetic systematics as a

    core organizing principle. It highlights the benefi ts and constraints of such an

    approach, explores the ways in which it can be implemented, and describes a rich

    diversity of applications. This is the most comprehensive compilation of cutting-

    edge contributions on this topic to date, provides many valuable insights, and a ‘go

    to’ source of understanding. The intention to help improve the global condition of

    biodiversity is apparent throughout.

    v vi Foreword

    Biological conservation has oft been hampered by those who have maintained

    that priorities for action should only be established using approaches that are easily

    understood by the general public. The same demand has not been made in many

    other arenas of human endeavor (e.g. medicine, nuclear power), and neither should

    it constrain biological conservation. That said, there does remain a substantial chal-

    lenge of encouraging an informed citizenry around the justifi cation and goals of

    using a phylogenetic diversity approach, and gaining their support. Only by so

    doing will there be a genuine chance of aligning the multitude of biodiversity-criti-

    cal decisions being made each and every day across the continents and oceans.

    Environment and Sustainability Institute Kevin J. Gaston

    University of Exeter , Exeter , UK Acknowledgements

    This book could not exist without the participation of 38 research scientists who

    took part in the elaboration of these chapters. We thank each of them for their

    generosity in sharing their experience to make this common work. We are particularly

    indebted to Dan Faith, for his always prompt and insightful suggestions. Without his

    help this book would have been quite different. Every chapter was peer reviewed,

    and reviewers’ suggestions and critical thinking helped to improve all manuscripts

    and greatly contributed to our present understanding of phylogenetic diversity and

    its importance for biodiversity conservation. So, we thank Anni Arponen, Lisa

    Ballance, Sven Buerki, Maram Caesar, Marcel Cardillo, Pedro Cardoso, Ben Collen,

    Rob Cowie, Jorge Crisci, Mike Crisp, Jonathan Davies, Dan Faith, Jon Fjeldså,

    Felix Forest, Carlos Gonzalez-Orozco, Shan Huang, Jussi Laitila, Romain Julliard,

    James Justus, Matjaz Kuntner, Frédéric Legendre, Rafael Loyola, Laura J. May-

    Collado, Daniel Rafael Miranda-Esquivel, Claudia Moreno, Annemarie Ohler,

    Fabio Pardi, Stéphane Prigent, Carlo Ricotta, Samuel Scheiner, Mike Steel, Andreas

    Spiller, Géraldine Veron, and Kristen Williams, who kindly acted as referees (often

    anonymously) for the chapters. The idea of making this book was born during the

    preparation of a symposium entitled “Phylogenetic Tools for Conservation” that

    Roseli Pellens organized for the 30th meeting of the Willi Hennig Society at São

    José do Rio Preto, State of São Paulo, Brazil. We thank Fernando Barbosa Noll and

    Dalton de Souza Amorim, the meeting organizers, for including this subject in their

    agenda. We thank the Labex “Diversités biologiques et culturelles: origines,

    évolution, interactions, devenir” (BCDIV, Jean-Denis Vigne) and the ANR

    BIONEOCAL (PG) for the fi nancial support that permitted to make this publication

    open access. We are also very grateful to David Hawksworth, the series editor, and

    the people at Springer, for their kind help along the preparation of this volume.

    vii Contents

    Phylogenetics and Conservation Biology:

    Drawing a Path into the Diversity of Life ..................................................... 1

    Roseli Pellens and Philippe Grandcolas

    Part I Questions

    The Value of Phylogenetic Diversity .............................................................. 19

    Christopher Lean and James Maclaurin

    The PD Phylogenetic Diversity Framework: Linking

    Evolutionary History to Feature Diversity

    for Biodiversity Conservation ........................................................................ 39

    Daniel P. Faith

    Reconsidering the Loss of Evolutionary History: How Does

    Non-random Extinction Prune the Tree-of-Life? ......................................... 57

    Kowiyou Yessoufou and T. Jonathan Davies

    Phylogenetics and Conservation in New Zealand:

    The Long and the Short of It ......................................................................... 81

    Steven A. Trewick and Mary Morgan-Richards

    What Is the Meaning of Extreme Phylogenetic

    Diversity? The Case of Phylogenetic Relict Species ..................................... 99

    Philippe Grandcolas and Steven A. Trewick

    Part II Methods

    Using Phylogenetic Dissimilarities Among Sites for Biodiversity

    Assessments and Conservation ...................................................................... 119

    Daniel P. Faith


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