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      Phylogeography, hotspots and conservation priorities: an example from the Top End of Australia

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          Most cited references 36

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          The potential for behavioral thermoregulation to buffer "cold-blooded" animals against climate warming.

          Increasing concern about the impacts of global warming on biodiversity has stimulated extensive discussion, but methods to translate broad-scale shifts in climate into direct impacts on living animals remain simplistic. A key missing element from models of climatic change impacts on animals is the buffering influence of behavioral thermoregulation. Here, we show how behavioral and mass/energy balance models can be combined with spatial data on climate, topography, and vegetation to predict impacts of increased air temperature on thermoregulating ectotherms such as reptiles and insects (a large portion of global biodiversity). We show that for most "cold-blooded" terrestrial animals, the primary thermal challenge is not to attain high body temperatures (although this is important in temperate environments) but to stay cool (particularly in tropical and desert areas, where ectotherm biodiversity is greatest). The impact of climate warming on thermoregulating ectotherms will depend critically on how changes in vegetation cover alter the availability of shade as well as the animals' capacities to alter their seasonal timing of activity and reproduction. Warmer environments also may increase maintenance energy costs while simultaneously constraining activity time, putting pressure on mass and energy budgets. Energy- and mass-balance models provide a general method to integrate the complexity of these direct interactions between organisms and climate into spatial predictions of the impact of climate change on biodiversity. This methodology allows quantitative organism- and habitat-specific assessments of climate change impacts.
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            Phylogenetic endemism: a new approach for identifying geographical concentrations of evolutionary history.

            We present a new, broadly applicable measure of the spatial restriction of phylogenetic diversity, termed phylogenetic endemism (PE). PE combines the widely used phylogenetic diversity and weighted endemism measures to identify areas where substantial components of phylogenetic diversity are restricted. Such areas are likely to be of considerable importance for conservation. PE has a number of desirable properties not combined in previous approaches. It assesses endemism consistently, independent of taxonomic status or level, and independent of previously defined political or biological regions. The results can be directly compared between areas because they are based on equivalent spatial units. PE builds on previous phylogenetic analyses of endemism, but provides a more general solution for mapping endemism of lineages. We illustrate the broad applicability of PE using examples of Australian organisms having contrasting life histories: pea-flowered shrubs of the genus Daviesia (Fabaceae) and the Australian species of the Australo-Papuan tree frog radiation within the family Hylidae.
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              Threatened species and the potential loss of phylogenetic diversity: conservation scenarios based on estimated extinction probabilities and phylogenetic risk analysis.

               D. Faith (2008)
              New species conservation strategies, including the EDGE of Existence (EDGE) program, have expanded threatened species assessments by integrating information about species' phylogenetic distinctiveness. Distinctiveness has been measured through simple scores that assign shared credit among species for evolutionary heritage represented by the deeper phylogenetic branches. A species with a high score combined with a high extinction probability receives high priority for conservation efforts. Simple hypothetical scenarios for phylogenetic trees and extinction probabilities demonstrate how such scoring approaches can provide inefficient priorities for conservation. An existing probabilistic framework derived from the phylogenetic diversity measure (PD) properly captures the idea of shared responsibility for the persistence of evolutionary history. It avoids static scores, takes into account the status of close relatives through their extinction probabilities, and allows for the necessary updating of priorities in light of changes in species threat status. A hypothetical phylogenetic tree illustrates how changes in extinction probabilities of one or more species translate into changes in expected PD. The probabilistic PD framework provided a range of strategies that moved beyond expected PD to better consider worst-case PD losses. In another example, risk aversion gave higher priority to a conservation program that provided a smaller, but less risky, gain in expected PD. The EDGE program could continue to promote a list of top species conservation priorities through application of probabilistic PD and simple estimates of current extinction probability. The list might be a dynamic one, with all the priority scores updated as extinction probabilities change. Results of recent studies suggest that estimation of extinction probabilities derived from the red list criteria linked to changes in species range sizes may provide estimated probabilities for many different species. Probabilistic PD provides a framework for single-species assessment that is well-integrated with a broader measurement of impacts on PD owing to climate change and other factors.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biological Conservation
                Biological Conservation
                Elsevier BV
                00063207
                December 2016
                December 2016
                : 204
                :
                : 83-93
                Article
                10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.002
                © 2016

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