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Distribution of phylogenetic diversity under random extinction

Faller, B (Canterbury)
Wednesday 19 December 2007, 10:20-10:40

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.


[ppt ]




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