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Keywords:

  • Conservation;
  • endemism;
  • lemurs;
  • Madagascar;
  • phylogeny;
  • risk

Abstract

Aim

To highlight where in Madagascar the phylogenetically and spatially rare lemur species at risk of extinction are concentrated.

Location

Madagascar.

Methods

Phylogenetic endemism (PE) is a combined measure for apportioning a phylogenetic tree across a landscape used to identify those geographical locations that contain spatially rare phylogenetic diversity (Rosauer et al., 2009). We present a simple extension (imperilled phylogenetic endemism) that scales this phylogenetic diversity by the probability of its loss to extinction. We apply these measures to a composite phylogeny of all confirmed Malagasy lemuriform species using International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) extent of occurrence and threat status data.

Results

We find that, because nonimperilled species are scattered about the lemuriform tree, interior branches of the tree are still quite secure: this also means that areas of high phylogenetic endemism for Madagascar lemuriformes are often the same areas as those of high imperilled PE (IPE), as both are heavily weighted by branches nearer the tips. However, although the North of Madagascar holds the largest amount of spatially rare evolutionary history using both PE and IPE, there are additional pockets of imperilled history in the south and west.

Main Conclusions

Correlations of endemism and threat status with phylogenetic isolation are modest across lemurs and so are not substitutable conservation values. They might best be integrated on the landscape using IPE. As illustrated here, IPE successfully highlights areas containing species which are at once threatened with extinction and that are phylogenetically and spatially rare.