Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Dec 22;279(1749):4997-5003. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1981. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Traits, trees and taxa: global dimensions of biodiversity in mammals.

Author information

Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


Measures of biodiversity encompass variation along several dimensions such as species richness (SR), phylogenetic diversity (PD) and functional/trait diversity (TD). At the global scale, it is widely recognized that SR and PD are strongly correlated, but the extent to which either tends to capture variation in TD is unclear. Here, we assess relationships among PD, SR and TD for a number of traits both across clades and regional assemblages of mammals. We also contrast results using two different measures of TD, trait variance and a new measure we refer to as trait bin filling (the number of orders of magnitude of variation that contain at least one species). When TD is defined as trait variance, PD is a much stronger correlate of TD than SR across clades, consistent with hypotheses about the conservation value of PD. However, when TD is defined as bin filling, PD and SR show similar correlations with TD across clades and space. We also investigate potential losses of SR, PD and TD if species that are currently threatened were to go extinct, and find that threatened PD is often a similar predictor of threatened TD as SR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center