Spatial conservation prioritization of biodiversity spanning the evolutionary continuum

Silvia B. Carvalho*, Guillermo Velo-Antón, Pedro Tarroso, Ana Paula Portela, Mafalda Barata, Salvador Carranza, Craig Moritz, Hugh P. Possingham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    Accounting for evolutionary relationships between and within species is important for biodiversity conservation planning, but is rarely considered in practice. Here we introduce a novel framework to identify priority conservation areas accounting for phylogenetic and intraspecific diversity, integrating concepts from phylogeny, phylogeography, spatial statistics and spatial conservation prioritization. The framework allows planners to incorporate and combine different levels of evolutionary diversity and can be applied to any taxonomic group and to any region in the world. We illustrate our approach using amphibian and reptile species occurring in a biodiversity hotspot region, the Iberian Peninsula. We found that explicitly incorporating phylogenetic and intraspecific diversity in systematic conservation planning provides advantages in terms of maximizing overall biodiversity representation while enhancing its persistence and evolutionary potential. Our results emphasize the need to account for the evolutionary continuum in order to efficiently implement biodiversity conservation planning decisions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0151
    JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2017


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