Quantifying phylogenetic beta diversity: distinguishing between 'true' turnover of lineages and phylogenetic diversity gradients

Leprieur, Fabien, Albouy, Camille, De Bortoli, Julien, Cowman, Peter F., Bellwood, David R., and Mouillot, David (2012) Quantifying phylogenetic beta diversity: distinguishing between 'true' turnover of lineages and phylogenetic diversity gradients. PLoS One, 7 (8). pp. 1-12.

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The evolutionary dissimilarity between communities (phylogenetic beta diversity PBD) has been increasingly explored by ecologists and biogeographers to assess the relative roles of ecological and evolutionary processes in structuring natural communities. Among PBD measures, the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices have been widely used to assess the level of turnover of lineages over geographical and environmental gradients. However, these indices can be considered as 'broad-sense' measures of phylogenetic turnover as they incorporate different aspects of differences in evolutionary history between communities that may be attributable to phylogenetic diversity gradients. In the present study, we extend an additive partitioning framework proposed for compositional beta diversity to PBD. Specifically, we decomposed the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices into two separate components accounting for 'true' phylogenetic turnover and phylogenetic diversity gradients, respectively. We illustrated the relevance of this framework using simple theoretical and archetypal examples, as well as an empirical study based on coral reef fish communities. Overall, our results suggest that using PhyloSor and UniFrac may greatly over-estimate the level of spatial turnover of lineages if the two compared communities show contrasting levels of phylogenetic diversity. We therefore recommend that future studies use the 'true' phylogenetic turnover component of these indices when the studied communities encompass a large phylogenetic diversity gradient.

Item ID: 23823
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
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PLoS One is an open access journal and articles are provided under a creative commons attribution license.

Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2012 05:30
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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