Spatial Distribution of Phylogenetic Diversity of South American Anurans

  • Tiago S. Vasconcelos
  • Fernando R. da Silva
  • Tiago G. dos Santos
  • Vitor H. M. Prado
  • Diogo B. Provete


Understanding the spatial distributions of phylogenetic diversity is an opportunity to support policy-makers and designing conservation strategies in megadiverse regions. Here, we mapped the spatial distribution of Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) and phylogenetic endemism (PE) of amphibian species distributed across South America. Although we found areas of high species richness (SR) correlated with areas of high PD or PE, there are regions with much more PD/PE or much less PD/PE than expected given the SR. Using a phylogenetic approach, we found that the factors regulating amphibian biodiversity involve a complex interplay of evolutionary and biogeographical processes in different regions of South America. These results might help supporting conservation planning for this threatened vertebrate group.


Amphibians Coldspot Conservation biogeography Evolutionary history Faith diversity Phylogenetic endemism 



The authors have been continuously supported by research grants and/or fellowships from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 2011/18510-0; 2013/50714-0; 2016/13949-7), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq 2037/2014-9; 431012/2016-4; 308687/2016-17; 114613/2018-4), and University Research and Scientific Production Support Program of the Goias State University (PROBIP/UEG). Prof. Dr. Victor Satoru Saito (UFSCar) read critically the first version of this manuscript and provided insightful comments that improved it.


  1. Antonelli A, Kissling WD, Flantua SGA et al (2018) Geological and climatic influences on mountain biodiversity. Nat Geosci 11:718–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Badgley C, Smiley TM, Terry R et al (2017) Biodiversity and topographic complexity: modern and geohistorical perspectives. Trends Ecol Evol 32:211–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buckley LB, Jetz W (2007) Environmental and historical constraints on global patterns of amphibian richness. Proc R Soc Lond 274:1167–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Catenazzi A (2015) State of the World’s amphibians. Annu Rev Environ Resour 40:91–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. da Silva FR, Almeida-Neto M, Prado VHM et al (2012) Humidity levels drive reproductive modes and phylogenetic diversity of amphibians in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. J Biogeogr 39:1720–1732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Devictor V, Mouillot D, Meynard C et al (2010) Spatial mismatch and congruence between taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity: the need for integrative conservation strategies in a changing world. Ecol Lett 13:1030–1040PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Diniz-Filho JA, Loyola RD, Raia P et al (2013) Darwinian shortfalls in biodiversity conservation. Trends Ecol Evol 28:689–695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Faith DP (1992) Conservation evaluation and phylogenetic diversity. Biol Conserv 61:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ficetola GF, Rondinini C, Bonardi A et al (2014) An evaluation of the robustness of global amphibian range maps. J Biogeogr 41:211–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Forest F, Grenyer R, Rouget M et al (2007) Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots. Nature 445:757–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fritz SA, Rahbek C (2012) Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity. J Biogeogr 39:1373–1382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Graham CH, Carnaval AC, Cadena CD et al (2014) The origin and maintenance of montane diversity: integrating evolutionary and ecological processes. Ecography 37:711–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graham CH, Parra M, Mora A et al (2018) The interplay between geological history and ecology in mountains. In: Hoorn C, Perrigo A, Antonelli A (eds) Mountains, climate and biodiversity. Wiley Blackwell, Hoboken, p 231Google Scholar
  14. Guedes TB, Azevedo JAR, Bacon CD et al (2019) Diversity, endemism, and evolutionary history of montane biotas outside the Andean region. In: Rull V, Carnaval A (eds) Neotropical Diversification. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Hortal J, de Bello F, Diniz-Filho JAF et al (2015) Seven shortfalls that beset large-scale knowledge on biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 46:523–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Isaac NJB, Turvey ST, Collen B et al (2007) Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PLoS One 2:e296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Isaac NJB, Redding DW, Meredith HM (2012) Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation. PLoS One 7(8):e43912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. IUCN (2016) IUCN red list of threatened species. Accessed 22 Mar 2019
  19. Janzen DH (1967) Why mountain passes are higher in the tropics. Am Nat 101:233–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jetz W, Pyron RA (2018) The interplay of past diversification and evolutionary isolation with present imperilment across the amphibian tree of life. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 2:850–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kembel SW (2009) Disentangling niche and neutral influences on community assembly: assessing the performance of community phylogenetic structure test. Ecol Lett 12:949–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Loyola RD, Lemes P, Brum FT et al (2014) Clade-specific consequences of climate change to amphibians in Atlantic Forest protected areas. Ecography 37:65–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Magurran AE, McGill BJ (2011) Biological diversity Frontiers in measurement and assessment. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  24. Merckx VSFT, Hendricks KP, Beentjes KK et al (2015) Evolution of endemism on a young tropical mountain. Nature 524:347–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Misher BD, Knerr N, González-Orozco CE et al (2014) Phylogenetic measures of biodiversity and neo- and paleo-endemism in Australian Acacia. Nat Commun 5:4473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mouquet N, Devictor V, Meynard CN et al (2012) Ecophylogenetics: advances and perspectives. Biol Rev 87:769–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pavoine S, Love MS, Bonsall MB (2009) Hierarchical partitioning of evolutionary and ecological patterns in the organization of phylogenetically-structured species assemblages: application to rockfish (genus:Sebastes) in the Southern California Bight. Ecol Lett 12:898–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Polato NR, Gill BA, Shah AA et al (2018) Narrow thermal tolerance and low dispersal drive higher speciation in tropical mountains. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 115:12471–12476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rapacciuolo G, Graham CH, Marin J et al (2018) Species diversity as a surrogate for conservation of phylogenetic and functional diversity in terrestrial vertebrates across the Americas. Nat Ecol Evol 3:53–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Redding DW, DeWolff CV, Mooers AO (2010) Evolutionary distinctiveness, threat status, and ecological oddity in primates. Conserv Biol 24:1052–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rosauer DF, Laffan SW, Crips MD et al (2009) Phylogenetic endemism: a new approach for identifying geographical concentrations of evolutionary history. Mol Ecol 18:4061–4072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rosauer DF, Pollock LJ, Linke S (2017) Phylogenetically informed spatial planning is required to conserve the mammalian tree of life. Proc R Soc Lond 284:20170627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Swenson NG (2014) Functional and Phylogenetic Ecology in R. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tucker CM, Cadotte MW, Carvalho SB et al (2016) A guide to phylogenetic metrics for conservation, community ecology and macroecology. Biol Rev 92:698–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vane-Wright RI, Humphries CJ, Williams PH (1991) What to protect? Systematics and the agony of choice. Biol Conserv 55:235–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vellend M, Cornwell WK, Magnuson-Ford K (2011) Measuring phylogenetic biodiversity. In: Magurran AE, McGill BJ (eds) Biological diversity Frontiers in measurement and assessment. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Veron S, Saito V, Padilla-García N et al (2019) The use of phylogenetic diversity in conservation biology and community ecology: a common base but different approaches. Q Rev Biol 94:123148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Villalobos F, Dobrovolski R, Provete DB et al (2013) Is rich and rare the common share? Describing biodiversity patterns to inform conservation practices for South America anurans. PLoS One 8:e56073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wake DV, Vredenburg VT (2008) Are we in the midst of the sixth mass extinction? A view from the world of amphibians. Proc Nat Acad Sci 105:1146–11473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Webb CO, Ackerly DD, McPeek MA et al (2002) Phylogenies and community ecology. Ann Rev Ecol Evol Syst 33:475–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Winter M, Devictor V, Schweiger O (2013) Phylogenetic diversity and nature conservation: where are we? Trends Ecol Evol 28:199–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiago S. Vasconcelos
    • 1
  • Fernando R. da Silva
    • 2
  • Tiago G. dos Santos
    • 3
  • Vitor H. M. Prado
    • 4
  • Diogo B. Provete
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSão Paulo State University (UNESP)BauruBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of São Carlos (UFScar)SorocabaBrazil
  3. 3.Federal University of Pampa (UNIPAMPA)São GabrielBrazil
  4. 4.Goiás State University (UEG)AnápolisBrazil
  5. 5.Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS)Campo GrandeBrazil

Personalised recommendations