Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Biodiversity and Ecosystems



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BibTex format

author = {Chapman, P and Tobias, JA and Edwards, DP and Davies, RG},
doi = {10.1111/1365-2664.13073},
journal = {Journal of Applied Ecology},
pages = {1604--1614},
title = {Contrasting impacts of land use change on phylogenetic and functional diversity of tropical forest birds},
url = {},
volume = {55},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - 1.Biodiversity conservation strategies increasingly target maintaining evolutionary history and the resilience of ecosystem function, not just species richness (SR). This has led to the emergence of two metrics commonly proposed as tools for decision making: phylogenetic diversity (PD) and functional diversity (FD). Yet the extent to which they are interchangeable remains poorly understood. 2.We explore shifts in and relationships between FD and PD of bird communities across a disturbance gradient in Borneo, from old-growth tropical forest to oil palm plantation. 3.We show a marked decline in PD, and an increase in phylogenetic mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) from forest to oil palm, in line with declining SR across the gradient. However, phylogenetic mean pairwise distance (MPD) is constrained by forest logging more than by conversion to oil palm, taking account of SR. 4.The decline in FD across the gradient is less severe than in PD, with all metrics indicating relatively high trait diversity in oil palm despite low SR, although functional redundancy is much reduced. Accounting for SR, levels of functional over- or under-dispersion of bird communities are strongly coupled to habitat disturbance level rather than to any equivalent phylogenetic metric. 5. Policy Implications. We suggest that while phylogenetic diversity (PD) is an improvement on species richness as a proxy for functional diversity (FD), conservation decisions based on PD alone cannot reliably safeguard maximal FD. Thus, PD and FD are related but still complementary. Priority setting exercises should use these metrics in combination to identify conservation targets.
AU - Chapman,P
AU - Tobias,JA
AU - Edwards,DP
AU - Davies,RG
DO - 10.1111/1365-2664.13073
EP - 1614
PY - 2018///
SN - 0021-8901
SP - 1604
TI - Contrasting impacts of land use change on phylogenetic and functional diversity of tropical forest birds
T2 - Journal of Applied Ecology
UR -
UR -
VL - 55
ER -