Arne Mooers is a comparative biologist who focuses on the evolutionary causes and conservation implications of phylogenetic tree shapes. Dave Redding specializes on the identification of, and the subsequent ecological, conservation, and geographic attributes of, phylogenetic distinctive lineages.
Where the rare species are
Article first published online: 23 SEP 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 18, Issue 19, pages 3955–3957, October 2009
How to Cite
MOOERS, A. O. and REDDING, D. W. (2009), Where the rare species are. Molecular Ecology, 18: 3955–3957. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04312.x
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 23 SEP 2009
- Received 9 June 2009; revision received 28 June 2009; accepted 2 July 2009
Prioritizing geographic areas for conservation attention is important – time and money are in short supply but endangered species are not – and difficult. One popular perspective highlights areas with many species found nowhere else (Myers et al. 2000). Another identifies areas that contain species with fewer close relatives elsewhere (Faith 1992). One might characterize the first as focusing on geographic, and the second on phylogenetic, rarity. To the extent that geographically rare species are at greater risk of extinction (Gaston & Fuller 2009), and that phylogenetically rare species contribute disproportionally to overall biodiversity (Crozier 1997), it would seem reasonable to formally integrate the two approaches. In this issue, Rosauer et al. (2009) do just that; their elegant combined metric pinpoints areas missed out when the two types of rarity are looked at in isolation.