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Parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) of Mexican terrestrial mammals at different area units: when size matters

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Abstract Aim

Parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) is a biogeographical method that uses a parsimony algorithm to obtain an area cladogram, based on taxa inhabiting the study areas. We compare its performance at different geographical units (½° and 1° quadrats, ecoregions and biogeographical provinces) to analyse distributional patterns of Mexican terrestrial mammals, in order to assess the importance of the size of area units. Location

The area analysed corresponds to Mexico. Methods

Parsimony analyses were based on 56,859 collection records, corresponding to 703 genera, species and subspecies. Four data matrices were constructed for: (1) 716 quadrats of ½° latitude × ½° longitude, (2) 230 quadrats of 1° latitude × 1° longitude, (3) forty-five ecoregions and (4) fourteen biogeographical provinces. Results

For the ½° quadrat matrix, we obtained six cladograms of 17,138 steps. For the 1° quadrat matrix, we obtained five cladograms (strict consensus with 9394 steps). For the matrix of ecoregions, we obtained twelve cladograms (strict consensus cladogram with 3009 steps). For the provinces, we obtained a single cladogram with 1603 steps. Main conclusions

The best results were obtained with natural areas instead of quadrats. There seems to exist a trend to decrease the absolute number of steps and an increase in the absolute and relative number of synapomorphies as the size of the area units decreases, although this does not necessarily occur for the number of cladograms.
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Keywords: Endemicity; Mexico; biogeography; distributions; mammals; parsimony; parsimony analysis of endemicity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Museo de Zoología, Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad, de Ciencias, UNAM, Mexico D.F., Mexico

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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