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Mimouni E.-A.,University of Montreal | Mimouni E.-A.,Groupe Of Recherche Interuniversitaire En Limnologie Et Environnement Aquatique Gril | Beisner B.E.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Beisner B.E.,Groupe Of Recherche Interuniversitaire En Limnologie Et Environnement Aquatique Gril | And 2 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2016

The need to protect and preserve biodiversity is a pressing issue and requires that conservation projects be based on solid foundations. Knowledge of species evolutionary history can serve as a tool to help guide conservation projects on the basis of evolutionary heritage. We used communities of Cladocera (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) in urban waterbodies to identify which sites should be prioritized for phylogenetic diversity conservation. Phylogenetic trees were inferred using DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes. Furthermore, we also evaluated the consequences of phylogenetic uncertainty for identifying sites for conservation priority. Using results from Bayesian analyses, we considered the effect of uncertainty in the phylogenetic tree on phylogenetic diversity (PD) estimation. When phylogenetic uncertainty was taken into account, the conservation value of individual sites became uncertain and several potential comparisons between sites could not be supported. Consequently prioritization of one site over the other could not be defended in biodiversity conservation projects. Our study highlights the fact that accounting for phylogenetic uncertainty can alter the relative conservation priority of sites, as assessed by their phylogenetic diversity. Therefore, variability in the phylogenetic estimates should be consistently considered and integrated into estimates of phylogenetic diversity and conservation decisions to avoid making suboptimal choices. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source


Mimouni E.-A.,University of Montreal | Mimouni E.-A.,Groupe Of Recherche Interuniversitaire En Limnologie Et Environnement Aquatique Gril | Pinel-Alloul B.,University of Montreal | Pinel-Alloul B.,Groupe Of Recherche Interuniversitaire En Limnologie Et Environnement Aquatique Gril | And 2 more authors.
Urban Ecosystems | Year: 2015

Aquatic ecosystems are common in urban environments. A solid understanding of aquatic species’ distributions in urban habitats will both advance urban ecology and preserve biodiversity in cities. In particular, zooplankton are central components of aquatic food webs and their biodiversity patterns thus warrant further characterization and understanding. We examined sources of variation and biodiversity patterns of zooplankton communities across eighteen waterbodies in the urban landscape of Canada’s large island city of Montreal. We report a total of 80 zooplankton taxa of which rotifers and cladocerans were major contributing taxa to biodiversity. We found a lack of agreement between contributions of individual waterbodies to rotifer and cladoceran beta diversity. Littoral vegetated zones proved to be important habitats for zooplankton biodiversity, contributing considerably to the species richness pool, often with a different species composition. Further variation in zooplankton community composition was attributable to local factors such as waterbody size, algal biomass and composition, and macroinvertebrate predators, but also to urban management practices such as waterbody draining during winter. We show that urban waterbodies can represent important reservoirs of biodiversity. Management practices favoring a large diversity of permanent and temporary habitats with littoral vegetated zones should be incorporated in urban design and conservation plans. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

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