Phylogenetic diversity meets conservation policy: small areas are key to preserving eucalypt lineages

Pollock, Laura J., Rosauer, Dan F., Thornhill, Andrew H., Kujala, Heini, Crisp, Michael D., Miller, Joseph T., and McCarthy, Michael A. (2015) Phylogenetic diversity meets conservation policy: small areas are key to preserving eucalypt lineages. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370. 20140007. pp. 1-10.

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Evolutionary and genetic knowledge is increasingly being valued in conservation theory, but is rarely considered in conservation planning and policy. Here, we integrate phylogenetic diversity (PD) with spatial reserve prioritization to evaluate how well the existing reserve system in Victoria, Australia captures the evolutionary lineages of eucalypts, which dominate forest canopies across the state. Forty-three per cent of remaining native woody vegetation in Victoria is located in protected areas (mostly national parks) representing 48% of the extant PD found in the state. A modest expansion in protected areas of 5% (less than 1% of the state area) would increase protected PD by 33% over current levels. In a recent policy change, portions of the national parks were opened for development. These tourism development zones hold over half the PD found in national parks with some species and clades falling entirely outside of protected zones within the national parks. This approach of using PD in spatial prioritization could be extended to any clade or area that has spatial and phylogenetic data. Our results demonstrate the relevance of PD to regional conservation policy by highlighting that small but strategically located areas disproportionally impact the preservation of evolutionary lineages.

Item ID: 43381
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2970
Keywords: Australia; eucalyptus; phylogenetic diversity; reserve selection; species distribution; modelling; spatial prioritization
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© 2015 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions Research Hub, Bjarne K. Dahl Trust
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 22:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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