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Conservation priority of global Galliformes species based on phylogenetic diversity


  • Youhua CHEN

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
    • Correspondence: Youhua Chen, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

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In this study, based on phylogenetic diversity (PD), I develop a conservation strategy for Galliformes species around the world. A cladogram of 197 Galliformes species derived from a previous study was used for calculating PD metrics. Branch length is an important aspect of the phylogenetic information a tree can convey, but 2 traditionally-used metrics, the number of phylogenetic groups to which a taxon belongs (I) and the proportion that each taxon contributes to the total diversity of the group (W), are fully node-based and do not take branch length into account. Therefore, to measure PD more appropriately, I combined a branch-related metric, pendant edge (P), in addition to I and W. A final combined rank for Galliformes species was obtained by summing the ranks of the 3 metrics. My results showed that the 5% top priority species for conserving evolutionary potential were Galloperdix lunulata, Haematortyx sanguiniceps, Margaroperdix madagarensis, Syrmaticus soemmerringii, Coturnix pectoralis, Polyplectron napoleonis, Alectoris melanocephala, Xenoperdix udzungwensis, Afropavo congensis and Syrmaticus reevesii. The current species priority ranking based on pylogenetic diversity and the official International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranking of Galliformes species was significantly correlated when considering the 5 categories of IUCN (critical endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened and least concern). This indicated the feasibility of introducing the PD index into the network of IUCN regional Red List assessment. The 5% top priority countries selected using the complementarity principle possessing diversified Galliformes genetic resources were China, Indonesia, Mexico, India, Colombia, Australia, Brazil, Angola, Congo and Japan (in descending order). China, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, India and Colombia are consistently selected among the 4 top priority sets of richness, rarity, endemicity and PD. This result indicated that the priority result from PD is highly congruent with conventional measures. Along with other conventional ecological attributes, the alternative conservation scenario based on PD is reasonable and can be adopted in systematic conservation planning.