Implications of molecular systematic analyses on the conservation of rare and threatened taxa: contrasting examples from Malvaceae
2005 (English)In: Conservation Genetics, ISSN 1566-0621, E-ISSN 1572-9737, Vol. 6, no 3, 399-412 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Systematic research provides essential evidence for setting conservation priorities for rare and endangered taxa. Phylogenetic analyses can identify cryptic, genetically distinct lineages as well as actively interbreeding, and hence, non-distinctive lineages earlier perceived as separate taxa. A major aim of this study was to identify genetically distinct, rare lineages within two Malvaceae sister-genera, Sidalcea and Eremalche. The focus was two taxon-pairs each consisting of one rare and one more common taxon. The results demonstrate that even within two closely related genera, with a large number of rare taxa, molecular phylogenetic analyses can reveal contrasting degrees of evolutionary divergence and thus contrasting conservation implications for threatened taxa. Contrary to expectations, the substitution rate in the nuclear ribosomal transcribed spacers for annualEremalche did not correspond to the faster evolutionary rate of annuals – compared to perennials – detected earlier within Sidalcea. Branch lengths in the (annual) Eremalche clade were shorter than those of annual members of Sidalcea. The phylogenetic analyses showed that the rare and endangered S. keckii and E. kernensis each are most closely related to a common species that has been regarded as insufficiently distinct to warrant separate taxonomic status. An additional aim of the study was to test the utility of the Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) measure to formalize the procedure of prioritizing conservation efforts. The measure demonstrated S. keckii (but not E. kernensis) to be genetically distinct from its closest relative and a good candidate for conservation. The PD measure was earlier used for assessing conservation priorities for areas, but proved useful to more objectively suggest conservation priorities among threatened taxa. Because this measure is calculated directly from the data, it retains more character information and gives a better representation of genetic diversity than other measures relying on tree topologies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 6, no 3, 399-412 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-77150DOI: 10.1007/s10592-005-4977-zOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-77150DiVA: diva2:105062