Tropical Refuges with Exceptionally High Phylogenetic Diversity Reveal Contrasting Phylogenetic StructuresReport as inadecuate

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International Journal of Biodiversity - Volume 2015 2015, Article ID 758019, 17 pages -

Research ArticleDepartamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Avenida Transnordestina s-n, Novo Horizonte, 44036-900 Feira de Santana, BA, Brazil

Received 15 September 2014; Revised 28 December 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Stephan Koblmüller

Copyright © 2015 Lara Pugliesi and Alessandro Rapini. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Loss of phylogenetic diversity PD has gained increasing attention in conservation biology. However, PD is not equally distributed in a phylogeny and can be better assessed when species relatedness phylogenetic structure: PS is also considered. Here, we investigate PD and PS in two refuges of biodiversity in northeastern Brazil: the Bahia Costal Forest BCF in the Atlantic Forest domain and Chapada Diamantina CD in the Caatinga domain. We used geographic data of 205 species at two spatial scales and a chronogram of Apocynaceae based on matK sequences to estimate PD and PS. Our results show an exceptionally high PD in both refuges, overdispersed in BCF and clustered in CD, although this difference is less evident or absent for recent relationships, especially at a smaller spatial scale. Overall, PS suggests long-term competitive exclusion under climatic stability, currently balanced by habitat filtering, in BCF, and biome conservatism and limited dispersal leading to in situ diversification and high density of microendemics in CD. The phylogenetically clustered flora in CD, also threatened by climate changes, are naturally more vulnerable than BCF. Therefore, while in situ conservation may ensure protection of biodiversity in BCF, emergency ex situ conservation is strongly recommended in CD.

Author: Lara Pugliesi and Alessandro Rapini



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