|Authors:||Redding, DW; DeWolff, CV; Mooers, AO|
|Journal:||Conservation Biology 24: 1052-1058 Article Link (DOI)|
|Title:||Evolutionary Distinctiveness, Threat Status, and Ecological Oddity in Primates|
|Abstract:||The EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) conservation program (www.edgeofexistence.org) uses a composite measure of threat and phylogenetic isolation to rank species for conservation attention. Using primates as a test case, we examined how species that rank highly with this metric represent the collective from which they are drawn. We considered the ecological and morphological traits, including body mass, diet, terrestriality, and home range size, of all 233 species of primates. Overall, EDGE score and the level of deviance from the mean of 20 different ecological, reproductive, and morphological variables were correlated (mean correlation r = 0.14, combined p = 1.7 x 10(-14)). Although primates with a high EDGE score had characteristics that made them seem odd, they did not seem to express more ancestral characteristics than expected. Sets of primate species with high EDGE scores will, therefore, collectively capture a broader than expected range of the biology of the clade. If similar patterns hold in other groups, the EDGE metric may be useful for prioritizing biodiversity for conservation.|
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