Distribution of phylogenetic diversity under random extinction
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
Phylogenetic diversity is a measure for describing how much of an evolutionary tree is spanned by a subset of species. If one applies this to the (unknown) subset of current species that will still be present at some future time, then this 'future phylogenetic diversity' provides a measure of the impact of various extinction scenarios in biodiversity conservation. We have studied the distribution of future phylogenetic diversity under a simple model of extinction (a generalized 'field of bullets' model). In this talk, I present our finding that the distribution of future phylogenetic diversity converges to a normal distribution as the number of species grows. This result is significant for biodiversity conservation.
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