Diversity, extinction, and threat status in Lagomorphs

Verde Arregoitia, Luis D., Leach, Katie, Reid, Neil and Fisher, Diana O. (2015) Diversity, extinction, and threat status in Lagomorphs. Ecography, 38 11: 1155-1165. doi:10.1111/ecog.01063

Author Verde Arregoitia, Luis D.
Leach, Katie
Reid, Neil
Fisher, Diana O.
Title Diversity, extinction, and threat status in Lagomorphs
Journal name Ecography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1600-0587
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ecog.01063
Volume 38
Issue 11
Start page 1155
End page 1165
Total pages 11
Place of publication Malden, MA United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract A quarter of all lagomorphs (pikas, rabbits, hares and jackrabbits) are threatened with extinction, including several genera that contain only one species. The number of species in a genus correlates with extinction risk in lagomorphs, but not in other mammal groups, and this is concerning because the non-random extinction of small clades disproportionately threatens genetic diversity and phylogenetic history. Here, we use phylogenetic analyses to explore the properties of the lagomorph phylogeny and test if variation in evolution, biogeography and ecology between taxa explains current patterns of diversity and extinction risk. Threat status was not related to body size (and, by inference, its biological correlates), and there was no phylogenetic signal in extinction risk. We show that the lagomorph phylogeny has a similar clade-size distribution to other mammals, and found that genus size was unrelated to present climate, topography, or geographic range size. Extinction risk was greater in areas of higher human population density and negatively correlated with anthropogenically modified habitat. Consistent with this, habitat generalists were less likely to be threatened. Our models did not predict threat status accurately for taxa that experience region-specific threats. We suggest that pressure from human populations is so severe and widespread that it overrides ecological, biological, and geographic variation in extant lagomorphs.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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