Post tagged: conservation

Micro-evolutionary diversification among Indian Ocean parrots


Almost 90% of global bird extinctions have occurred on islands. The loss of endemic species from island systems can dramatically alter evolutionary trajectories of insular species biodiversity, resulting in a loss of evolutionary diversity important for species adaptation to changing environments. The Western Indian Ocean islands have been the …

Species: demarcation & diversity


Arguments about conservation are almost always arguments about species. Lists are compiled of endangered species, conservation schemes are prioritised on how many species are preserved, and legislation is phrased in terms of species. In the political economy of biodiversity, species are the currency. Despite this central role, the very …


An application for the interactive building of taxonomies.


Biodiversity assessment demands objective measures, because ultimately conservation is an issue of economics, prioritizing the use of limited resources for preserving taxa. The most general framework for such metrics are those that assess evolutionary distinctiveness as judged by how much of a phylogeny is conserved. However, their applicability is …

The impact of species concept on biodiversity studies


Species are defined using a variety of different operational techniques. While discussion of the various methodologies has previously been restricted mostly to taxonomists, the demarcation of species is also crucial for conservation biology. Unfortunately, different methods of diagnosing species can arrive at different entities. Most prominently, it is widely …

Nonrandom Extinction and the Loss of Evolutionary History


The hierarchical nature of phylogenies means that random extinction of species affects a smaller fraction of higher taxa, and so the total amount of evolutionary history lost may be comparatively slight. However, current extinction risk is not phylogenetically random. We show the potentially severe implications of the clumped nature …