‘Tree of life’ distances are no shortcut to conservation

Some conservation strategies assume that the evolutionary distances between species on a phylogenetic ‘tree of life’ (a branching diagram of species popularized by Charles Darwin) can be used to predict how diverse their biological features will be. These distances are then used to select which species to conserve in order to maximize interesting biological features — such as potentially useful drug compounds and resilience to climate change. But a new analysis of data from 223 studies of animals, plants, and fungi, shows that methods based on such distances are often no better at conserving interesting biological features than picking species …read more

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/OT391hqosy8/140309171648.htm

    

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