Shelby P. Moshier; California State University, Fresno; 2837 E Emerald Ave, Fresno, CA, 93720; (559) 970-5106;; Gurjap Dhaliwal, Joshua S. Reece
Anthropogenic climate change is a major threat for many at-risk species. One way of assessing the impact of climate change is through vulnerability assessments, which quantitatively evaluate the susceptibility of species to threats. While vulnerability assessments can identify which species are most at-risk, it can be unclear as to how species' vulnerability is distributed phylogenetically and what would be lost in terms of evolutionary diversity if certain lineages were extirpated. We examined the distribution of quantitative climate change vulnerability scores, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranks, and NatureServe conservation status assessments for 299 California avian taxa on a phylogenetic tree to evaluate the phylogenetic distribution of avian climate change vulnerability and extinction risk. We cumulatively analyzed binned scores in R to calculate Faith's Index of Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) and disparity as assessed by the Net Relatedness Index (NRI). Removing species at elevated risk levels from the California avian phylogeny resulted in the loss of more disparity (measured by NRI) and phylogenetic diversity (PD) than would be expected if the same number of taxa were randomly removed from the tree. Thus, climate change threatens both overall evolutionary diversity and disparity in California's birds.
Poster Session   Student Paper