Data from: Conservation action based on threatened species capture taxonomic and phylogenetic richness in breeding and wintering populations of Central Asian birds
Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias (2015), Data from: Conservation action based on threatened species capture taxonomic and phylogenetic richness in breeding and wintering populations of Central Asian birds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q72q4
Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation planning. One of the main arguments is based on the observation that threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree. However this argument seems to dismiss the fact that conservation action is a spatially explicit process, and even if threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree, the occurrence of threatened species could still indicate areas with above average phylogenetic diversity and consequently could protect phylogenetic diversity. Here we aim to study the selection of important bird areas in Central Asia, which were nominated largely based on the presence of threatened bird species. We show that although threatened species occurring in Central Asia do not capture phylogenetically more distinct species than expected by chance, the current spatially explicit conservation approach of selecting important bird areas covers above average taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of breeding and wintering birds. We conclude that the spatially explicit processes of conservation actions need to be considered in the current discussion of whether new prioritization methods are needed to complement conservation action based on threatened species.