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Improving generation length estimates for the IUCN Red List

Improving generation length estimates for the IUCN Red List
Improving generation length estimates for the IUCN Red List

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies species according to their risk of extinction, informing local to global conservation decisions. Here we look to advance the estimation of generation length, which is used as a time-scalar in the Red List as a way of accounting for differences in species' life-histories. We calculated or predicted generation length for 86 species of antelope following the Rspan approach. We also tested the importance of both allometry (body-mass) and phylogeny (phylogenetic eigenvectors) as predictors of generation length within a Phylogenetic Eigenvector Map (PEM) framework. We then evaluated the predictive power of this PEM and two binning approaches, following a leave-one-out cross-validation routine. We showed that captive and wild longevity data are nonequivalent and that both body-mass and phylogeny are important predictors for generation length (body-mass explained 64% and phylogeny 36% of the partitioned explained variance). Plus, both the PEM, and the binning approach that included both taxonomic rank and body-mass, had good predictive power and therefore are suitable for extrapolating generation length to missing-data species. Therefore, based on our findings, we advise separating captive and wild data when estimating generation length, and considering the implications of wild and captive data more widely in life-history analyses. We also recommend that body-mass and phylogeny should be used in combination, preferably under a PEM framework (as it was less reliant on available reference species and more explicitly accounts for phylogenetic relatedness) or a binning approach if a PEM is not feasible, to extrapolate generation length to missing-data species. Overall, we provide a transparent, consistent and transferable workflow for improving the use of the Rspan method to calculate generation length for the IUCN Red List.

1932-6203
Cooke, Robert S.C.
ccfaffc5-2792-4987-91e7-584bbbf20d19
Gilbert, Tania C.
ec807003-6c13-4dcb-bb63-0f36e9143409
Riordan, Philip
167a7d30-4172-4e60-b6b8-debfc6caef79
Mallon, David
0128d837-81b8-4035-a709-8b78fdc3ddbd
Cooke, Robert S.C.
ccfaffc5-2792-4987-91e7-584bbbf20d19
Gilbert, Tania C.
ec807003-6c13-4dcb-bb63-0f36e9143409
Riordan, Philip
167a7d30-4172-4e60-b6b8-debfc6caef79
Mallon, David
0128d837-81b8-4035-a709-8b78fdc3ddbd

Cooke, Robert S.C., Gilbert, Tania C., Riordan, Philip and Mallon, David (2018) Improving generation length estimates for the IUCN Red List. PLoS ONE, 13 (1). (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191770).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies species according to their risk of extinction, informing local to global conservation decisions. Here we look to advance the estimation of generation length, which is used as a time-scalar in the Red List as a way of accounting for differences in species' life-histories. We calculated or predicted generation length for 86 species of antelope following the Rspan approach. We also tested the importance of both allometry (body-mass) and phylogeny (phylogenetic eigenvectors) as predictors of generation length within a Phylogenetic Eigenvector Map (PEM) framework. We then evaluated the predictive power of this PEM and two binning approaches, following a leave-one-out cross-validation routine. We showed that captive and wild longevity data are nonequivalent and that both body-mass and phylogeny are important predictors for generation length (body-mass explained 64% and phylogeny 36% of the partitioned explained variance). Plus, both the PEM, and the binning approach that included both taxonomic rank and body-mass, had good predictive power and therefore are suitable for extrapolating generation length to missing-data species. Therefore, based on our findings, we advise separating captive and wild data when estimating generation length, and considering the implications of wild and captive data more widely in life-history analyses. We also recommend that body-mass and phylogeny should be used in combination, preferably under a PEM framework (as it was less reliant on available reference species and more explicitly accounts for phylogenetic relatedness) or a binning approach if a PEM is not feasible, to extrapolate generation length to missing-data species. Overall, we provide a transparent, consistent and transferable workflow for improving the use of the Rspan method to calculate generation length for the IUCN Red List.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417588
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417588
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 542623c1-eca4-4f73-a037-f07913c834c9

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Date deposited: 06 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 06 Feb 2018 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Robert S.C. Cooke
Author: Tania C. Gilbert
Author: Philip Riordan
Author: David Mallon

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