Mammalian phylogenetic diversity-area relationships at a continental scale

Type Article
Date 2015-10
Language English
Author(s) Mazel Florent1, 2, Renaud Julien1, 2, Guilhaumon FrancoisORCID3, Mouillot David4, 5, Gravel Dominique6, Thuiller WilfriedORCID1, 2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Grenoble Alpes, Lab Ecol Alpine LECA, F-38000 Grenoble, France.
2 : CNRS, Lab Ecol Alpine LECA, F-38000 Grenoble, France.
3 : MARBEC Univ Montpellier, IRD, Montpellier, France.
4 : MARBEC Univ Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
5 : James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
6 : Univ Quebec Rimouski, Dept Biol Chim & Geog, Quebec City, PQ G5L 3A1, Canada.
Source Ecology (0012-9658) (Wiley), 2015-10 , Vol. 96 , N. 10 , P. 2814-2822
DOI 10.1890/
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) conservation biogeography, habitat loss, null models, phylogenetic diversity, species-area relationship, strict nested design

In analogy to the species-area relationship (SAR), one of the few laws in ecology, the phylogenetic diversity-area relationship (PDAR) describes the tendency of phylogenetic diversity (PD) to increase with area. Although investigating PDAR has the potential to unravel the underlying processes shaping assemblages across spatial scales and to predict PD loss through habitat reduction, it has been little investigated so far. Focusing on PD has noticeable advantages compared to species richness (SR), since PD also gives insights on processes such as speciation/extinction, assembly rules and ecosystem functioning. Here we investigate the universality and pervasiveness of the PDAR at continental scale using terrestrial mammals as study case. We define the relative robustness of PD (compared to SR) to habitat loss as the area between the standardized PDAR and standardized SAR (i.e., standardized by the diversity of the largest spatial window) divided by the area under the standardized SAR only. This metric quantifies the relative increase of PD robustness compared to SR robustness. We show that PD robustness is higher than SR robustness but that it varies among continents. We further use a null model approach to disentangle the relative effect of phylogenetic tree shape and nonrandom spatial distribution of evolutionary history on the PDAR. We find that, for most spatial scales and for all continents except Eurasia, PDARs are not different from expected by a model using only the observed SAR and the shape of the phylogenetic tree at continental scale. Interestingly, we detect a strong phylogenetic structure of the Eurasian PDAR that can be predicted by a model that specifically account for a finer biogeographical delineation of this continent. In conclusion, the relative robustness of PD to habitat loss compared to species richness is determined by the phylogenetic tree shape but also depends on the spatial structure of PD.

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