Beyond Species numbers and charisma - how can we use phylogenetic trees to conserve biodiversity?
2006 (Swedish)In: Systematikdagarna 2006, Göteborg, 2006Conference paper (Other scientific)
Phylogenetic trees are today mainly used to reconstruct interrelationships among species and interpret character evolution. However, since a phylogenetic tree with branch lengths also provide an estimate of the evolutionary distance (or disparity) among taxa, a tree could also provide insight when setting conservation priorities that aims to preserve feature diversity and evolutionary potential. From this perspective, conservation should put extra focus on minimizing the extiction of species and clades that are particularly disparate. I here demonstrate some questions one might ask when using a tree as input for conservation efforts: how much phylogenetic diversity are contained in different clades? What subset of protected species provides the most phylogenetic diversity? How much diversity in a tree is lost if a particular area or habitat is lost? Such questions should be possible to raise with the data generated by the The Swedish Taxonomy Initiative. I have implemented methods to deal with these questions in a simple PERL program which can handle very large trees and biogeographic information.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-24882OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-24882DiVA: diva2:52656