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Phylogenetic Signal of Threatening Processes among Hylids: The Need for Clade-Level Conservation Planning

Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Aronoff Laboratory 318 W, 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Current Address: Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 40475, USA
Diversity 2010, 2(2), 142-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/d2020142
Received: 30 October 2009 / Accepted: 18 January 2010 / Published: 27 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amphibian Conservation)
Rapid, global declines among amphibians are partly alarming because many occur for apparently unknown or enigmatic reasons. Moreover, the relationship between phylogeny and enigmatic declines in higher clades of the amphibian phylogeny appears at first to be an intractable problem. I present a working solution by assessing threatening processes potentially underlying enigmatic declines in the family, Hylidae. Applying comparative methods that account for various evolutionary scenarios, I find extreme concentrations of threatening processes, including pollution and habitat loss, in the clade Hylini, potentially influenced by traits under selection. The analysis highlights hotspots of declines under phylogenetic influence in the genera Isthmohyla, Plectrohyla and Ptychohyla, and geographically in Mexico and Guatemala. The conservation implications of concentrated phylogenetic influence across multiple threatening processes are twofold: Data Deficient species of threatened clades should be prioritized in future surveys and, perhaps, a greater vulnerability should be assigned to such clades for further consideration of clade-level conservation priorities. View Full-Text
Keywords: phylogenetic signal; amphibian declines; Hylidae; phylogenetic comparative methods; amphibian conservation phylogenetic signal; amphibian declines; Hylidae; phylogenetic comparative methods; amphibian conservation
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Corey, S.J. Phylogenetic Signal of Threatening Processes among Hylids: The Need for Clade-Level Conservation Planning. Diversity 2010, 2, 142-162.

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