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Data from: Conserving evolutionary history does not result in greater diversity over geological timescales

Citation

Cantalapiedra, Juan et al. (2019), Data from: Conserving evolutionary history does not result in greater diversity over geological timescales, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gd8038s

Abstract

Alternative prioritization strategies have been proposed to safeguard biodiversity over macro-evolutionary timescales. The first prioritizes the most distantly related species (maximizing phylogenetic diversity) in the hopes of capturing at least some lineages that will successfully diversify into the future. The second prioritizes lineages that are currently speciating, in the hopes that successful lineages will continue to generate species into the future. These contrasting schemes also map onto contrasting predictions about the role of slow diversifiers in the production of biodiversity over paleontological time scales. We consider the performance of the two schemes across ten dated species-level paleo-phylogenetic trees ranging from foraminifera to dinosaurs. We find that prioritizing phylogenetic diversity for conservation generally led to fewer subsequent lineages, while prioritizing diversifiers led to modestly more subsequent diversity, compared to random sets of lineages. Importantly for conservation, the tree shape when decisions are made cannot predict which scheme will be most successful. These patterns are inconsistent with the notion that long-lived lineages are the source of new species. While there may be sound reasons for prioritizing phylogenetic diversity for conservation, long-term species production might not be one of them.

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