Real-world conservation planning for evolutionary diversity in the Kimberley, Australia, sidesteps uncertain taxonomy

Dan F. Rosauer, Margaret Byrne, Mozes P.K. Blom, David J. Coates, Stephen Donnellan, Paul Doughty, J. Scott Keogh, Janine Kinloch, Rebecca J. Laver, Cecilia Myers, Paul M. Oliver, Sally Potter, Daniel L. Rabosky, Ana Catarina Afonso Silva, James Smith, Craig Moritz

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Abstract

Targeting phylogenetic diversity (PD) in systematic conservation planning is an efficient way to minimize losses across the Tree of Life. Considering representation of genetic diversity below and above species level, also allows robust analyses within systems where taxonomy is in flux. We use dense sampling of phylogeographic diversity for 11 lizard genera, to demonstrate how PD can be applied to a policy-ready conservation planning problem. Our analysis bypasses named taxa, using genetic data directly to inform conservation decisions. We highlight areas that should be prioritized for ecological management, and also areas that would provide the greatest benefit if added to the multisector conservation estate. We provide a rigorous and effective approach to represent the spectrum of genetic and species diversity in conservation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12438
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Letters
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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