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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Ramirez, Pamela [1], Scherson, Rosa [2].

Evolutionary distinctness of endemic species in the vascular flora of Mediterranean Chile: use of distribution range as a surrogate for conservation status.

Chile has a highly endemic vascular flora, mainly concentrated in the center of the country and in the Juan Fernandez archipelago. The central zone of Chile also hosts most of the population, industries and agricultural land. As a consequence, currently 36% of the continental and 75% of the insular endemic genera have species under some level of threat. However, as is common in plant species, many taxa have not even been evaluated, so these numbers are in fact underestimating a larger conservation problem for the endemic vascular plants in the country. Using a phylogeny of the species of the endemic genera of Chile and an extensive data base of geographic localities, this study evaluates the use of the Evolutionary Distinct Globally Endangered (EDGE) index and related measures for species of the endemic vascular plant genera of Chile, which integrate the evolutionary history that is unique to a taxon (ED), and a measure of conservation status, equivalent to the taxon's extinction probability (GE). EDGE and other measures derived from it have worked very well in other groups such as mammals, birds and amphibians. However, it has not been widely used in plants because of the lack of conservation status available for many taxa. We evaluated EDGE for taxa that had assigned conservation status and then studied the performance of a new index, Relative Evolutionary Distinctness (R-ED). R-ED calculates ED using a phylogeny in which branch lengths have been weighted according to the range of distribution of each taxon. EDGE and R-ED correlated very well, with high statistical support for the species that have been assigned a conservation status. R-ED was also able to highlight other species that have not yet been evaluated but should be priorities for conservation due to their unique evolutionary history and restricted range. One of the main criticisms of EDGE is that it does not consider shared branches in the phylogeny, omitting information of the probabilities of extinction of other taxa. We evaluated the performance of other indices such as HEDGE and studied how R-ED can be used in the context of complementarity. Funded by Fondecyt 1171586 and Conicyt PCI 223323

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1 - Universidad de Playa Ancha , Herbario VALP, Av. Carvallo 270. Playa Ancha, Valparaiso, Chile
2 - Universidad De Chile, Silviculture And Nature Conservation, Santa Rosa 11315 La Pintana, Santiago, 8820808, Chile

Chilean vascular plants
Evolutionary Conservation
phylogenetic diversity

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 43, Conservation Biology II
Location: 106/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 43001
Abstract ID:804
Candidate for Awards:None

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