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0920-MACE

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Evolutionary Biology and Practical Conservation: Bridging a Widening Gap Georgina Mace Andy PurvisOutlineDuring 1950-2000 ecosystem change was more rapid than any time in human history The conservation status of threatened species is deteriorating On average local populations are declining Ecosystem – forest fragmentationConversion of natural ecosystems is continuing, especially in biodiverse biomesThe distribution of species on Earth is becoming more homogenous Direct drivers of biodiversity loss are still growing in intensityStrong directed selection from driversSpecies extinctions are affecting some taxa and ecological types disproportionatelyExtinction leads to loss of evolutionary historyExtinction and evolutionary historyExtinction and evolutionary historyEvolutionary history and evolutionary processSummary: Anthropogenic impacts on current and future evolution..leading to…Current rates of environmental change and biodiversity loss- implications for future evolution?How can we do better - from an evolutionary perspective?Incorporating evolutionary processes into planning and managementThe global 2010 targetWhat is the 2010 target?The indicators for the 2010 Biodiversity target 2. Assessing the status and trends of biodiversity3. Setting priorities for conservationDoes species-richness serve as a good surrogate for PD ?Mammals of MadagascarMammals of MadagascarMammals of MadagascarSystematic conservation planning with ecological and evolutionary processes in mind 4. Developing species recovery plansIdentification of appropriate sub-unitsA phylogenetic speciesA phylogenetic speciesTop 20% of sites for endemic bird richness under BSC…… and under PSCIdentification of appropriate sub-unitsBuilding adaptation and evolutionary change into species management plansConclusions on incorporating evolutionary processes into planning and managementTowards better integration of evolutionary science to policy: reducing the obstaclesTowards better integration of evolutionary science to policy: reducing the obstaclesTowards better integration of evolutionary science to policy: reducing the obstaclesEvolutionary Biology and Practical Conservation: Bridging a Widening GapGeorgina MaceAndy PurvisEvolutionary Change in human-altered environments UCLA08.02.07OutlineThe widening gap(s)• Between the rate of environmental change and biodiversity loss, and our ability to mitigate it (>massive evolutionary change).• Between what we could do to incorporate evolutionary processes into planning and management, and what we do in practice.Removing obstacles• Better interfaces between science and policyDuring 1950-2000 ecosystem change was more rapid than any time in human history– More land was converted to cropland in the 30 years since 1950 than in the 150 years between 1700 and 1850– 20% of the world’s coral reefs were lost and 20% degraded– Flows of biologically available nitrogen doubled and flows of phosphorus tripledSpecies extinction rates are increasing Humans have increased the species extinction rate by as much as 1,000 times over background rates typical over the planet’s history Future projections suggest that species extinction rates could increase to 10 to 100 times higher than in the recent past.The conservation status of threatened species is deteriorating Threatened birds show deterioration in their conservation statusOn average local populations are declining According to the Living Planet Index, average population sizes declined by 30% between 1970 and 2003Most animal groups surveyed in Europe showed declines in population of over 20% between 1980 to 2002Ecosystem – forest fragmentationEstimates of forest fragmentation due to anthropogenic causes. (Wade, T. G., K. H. Riitters, J. D. Wickham, and K. B. Jones. 2003. Distribution and causes of global forest fragmentation. Conservation Ecology 7(2): 7. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol7/iss2/art7Conversion of natural ecosystems is continuing, especially in biodiverse biomesMore than two thirds of the area of two biomes and more than half of the area of four others had been converted by 1990Projected future changes are concentrated in the tropics, while limited recovery is expected in the temperate forests and woodlands.The distribution of species on Earth is becoming more homogenous Growth in Number of Marine Species Introductions in North America and EuropeDirect drivers of biodiversity loss are still growing in intensityMost direct drivers of degradation remain constant or are growing in intensity in most ecosystemsStrong directed selection from drivers• Habitat change (loss of habitat specialists, evolution for reduced dispersal, patch extinction)• Climate change (unpredictable effects from biotic mixing and new environments)• Invasive species (novel threats – massive effects, but also evidence for evolutionary responses)• Over-exploitation (life history evolutionary responses)• Pollution -including N, P loading (toxic blooms, simpler communities)Figure from Diaz et al PLoS Biology (2006)Biodiversity Is Both a Response Variable Affected by Global Change Drivers and a Factor That Affects Human Well-Being Consequences….?In many taxa, vulnerability to local extinctions is associated with:• low abundance • high habitat specificity, • large body size • slow reproductive rates. In mammals and fishes, • carnivores and high trophic level feeders.Fisher & Owens 2004; Dulvy et al., 2003. Cardillo et al., 2004; Purvis et al., 2000; Species extinctions are affecting some taxa and ecological types disproportionatelyExtinction leads to loss of evolutionary history• Phylogenetic branch length = evolutionary history• Phylogenies are very resistant to random loss of species• The internal branches (blue and red) can only be lost if all descendant species go extinct - they have ‘insurance’16 12 8 4 0Millions of yearsOrangGorillaHumansChimpBonobo• Take a phylogeny (this one is a made-up one)• Wipe out species at random• See how loss of evolutionary history scales with loss of species• Nee and May (1997) did thisExtinction and evolutionary history• Wipe out half the species• Only lose one internal branch• Can lose most of the species and keep nearly all of the tree!• e.g., lose 95% of species, keep 81% of branch length• But it is worse because of correlations within cladesExtinction and evolutionary historyEvolutionary history and evolutionary processRandom


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