Quantifying biodiversity: a phenotypic perspective

Owens, I. P. F. and Bennett, PM (2000) Quantifying biodiversity: a phenotypic perspective. Conservation Biology, 14 4: 1014-1022. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98509.x

Author Owens, I. P. F.
Bennett, PM
Title Quantifying biodiversity: a phenotypic perspective
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2000-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98509.x
Volume 14
Issue 4
Start page 1014
End page 1022
Total pages 9
Place of publication Malden, Mass. USA
Publisher Blackwell
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Subject C1
270500 Zoology
780105 Biological sciences
0599 Other Environmental Sciences
0699 Other Biological Sciences
Abstract With recently derived algorithms, it is possible to calculate the relative phylogenetic distinctiveness of taxa with respect to patterns of phylogenetic branching. We extended this approach by exploring the relative extent to which taxa represent phenotypic biodiversity. We devised a method, based on the use of independent contrasts, that measures the amount of phenotypic change that occurs when lineages diverge. We use this method to quantify the extent to which a taxon represents the phenotypic diversification that has occurred in the past. We applied our method to an analysis of variation in clutch size across 133 avian families. All families did not contribute equally to representing clutch size diversification. The top 10 avian families in terms of representing clutch size diversification were the mesites (Mesitornithidae), cranes (Gruidae), bustards (Otidae), new world quail (Odontophoridae), seriemas (Cariamidae), finfoots ( Heliornithidae), swallows (Hirundinidae), megapodes (Megapodiae), and guans (Cracidae). The 217 species in these 10 families (2.3% of all bird species, 7.5% of families) represented 19.3% of diversification in clutch size. Seventeen percent of overall clutch size diversification was represented by taxa threatened with extinction. The 10 families that represent the greatest proportion of overall clutch size diversification threatened by extinction were the mesites (Mesitornithidae), kagu (Rhynochetidae), cranes (Gruidae), kiwis (Apterygidae), new world quail (Odontophoridae), megapodes (Megapodiae), cassowaries (Casuariidae), finfoots (Heliornithidae), guans (Cracidae), and logrunners (Orthonychidae). The 42 threatened species (0.5% of all bird species, 3.8% of all threatened bird species) in these 10 families encompassed 53% of the clutch size diversification whose representation was threatened with extinction. Our results suggest that this type of analysis could potentially help prioritize species-based conservation efforts by identifying those taxa that contribute most toward representing the evolutionary processes that lead to current phenotypic biodiversity.
Keyword Biodiversity Conservation
Environmental Sciences
Genetic Diversity
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 20 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 11:47:51 EST