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A synthetic phylogeny of freshwater crayfish: insights for conservation
Owen, C.L.; Bracken-Grissom, H.D.; Stern, D.; Crandall, K.A. (2015). A synthetic phylogeny of freshwater crayfish: insights for conservation. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. (B Biol. Sci.) 370(1662): 1-10.
In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. Royal Society: London. ISSN 0962-8436; e-ISSN 1471-2970, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    crayfish; conservation; EDGE; phylogenetic diversity

Authors  Top 
  • Owen, C.L.
  • Bracken-Grissom, H.D.
  • Stern, D.
  • Crandall, K.A.

    Phylogenetic systematics is heading for a renaissance where we shift from considering our phylogenetic estimates as a static image in a published paper and taxonomies as a hardcopy checklist to treating both the phylogenetic estimate and dynamic taxonomies as metadata for further analyses. The Open Tree of Life project ( is developing synthesis tools for harnessing the power of phylogenetic inference and robust taxonomy to develop a synthetic tree of life. We capitalize on this approach to estimate a synthesis tree for the freshwater crayfish. The crayfish make an exceptional group to demonstrate the utility of the synthesis approach, as there recently have been a number of phylogenetic studies on the crayfishes along with a robust underlying taxonomic framework. Importantly, the crayfish have also been extensively assessed by an IUCN Red List team and therefore have accurate and up-to-date area and conservation status data available for analysis within a phylogenetic context. Here, we develop a synthesis phylogeny for the world's freshwater crayfish and examine the phylogenetic distribution of threat. We also estimate a molecular phylogeny based on all available GenBank crayfish sequences and use this tree to estimate divergence times and test for divergence rate variation. Finally, we conduct EDGE and HEDGE analyses and identify a number of species of freshwater crayfish of highest priority in conservation efforts.

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