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Knowledge of the number and distribution of species is fundamental to biodiversity conservation efforts, but this information is lacking for the majority of species on earth. Consequently, subsets of taxa are often used as proxies for biodiversity; but this assumes that different taxa display congruent distribution patterns. Here we use a global meta-analysis to show that studies of cross-taxon congruence rarely give consistent results. Instead, species richness congruence is highest at extremedoi:10.1038/ncomms4899 pmid:24844928 fatcat:iho4ywlopbcq3dwfsnpkzteufa