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Midpoint attractors and species richness: Modelling the interaction between environmental drivers and geometric constraints

Published on Sep 1, 2016in Ecology Letters8.70
· DOI :10.1111/ele.12640
Robert K. Colwell58
Estimated H-index: 58
(UFG: Universidade Federal de Goiás),
Nicholas J. Gotelli63
Estimated H-index: 63
(UVM: University of Vermont)
+ 19 AuthorsVojtech Novotny38
Estimated H-index: 38
(Sewanee: The University of the South)
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Abstract
We introduce a novel framework for conceptualising, quantifying and unifying discordant patterns of species richness along geographical gradients. While not itself explicitly mechanistic, this approach offers a path towards understanding mechanisms. In this study, we focused on the diverse patterns of species richness on mountainsides. We conjectured that elevational range midpoints of species may be drawn towards a single midpoint attractor – a unimodal gradient of environmental favourability. The midpoint attractor interacts with geometric constraints imposed by sea level and the mountaintop to produce taxon-specific patterns of species richness. We developed a Bayesian simulation model to estimate the location and strength of the midpoint attractor from species occurrence data sampled along mountainsides. We also constructed midpoint predictor models to test whether environmental variables could directly account for the observed patterns of species range midpoints. We challenged these models with 16 elevational data sets, comprising 4500 species of insects, vertebrates and plants. The midpoint predictor models generally failed to predict the pattern of species midpoints. In contrast, the midpoint attractor model closely reproduced empirical spatial patterns of species richness and range midpoints. Gradients of environmental favourability, subject to geometric constraints, may parsimoniously account for elevational and other patterns of species richness.
  • References (61)
  • Citations (20)
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References61
Newest
Published on Mar 25, 2016in Science41.04
Wei Ping Chan1
Estimated H-index: 1
(AS: Academia Sinica),
I-Ching Chen9
Estimated H-index: 9
(AS: Academia Sinica)
+ 3 AuthorsSheng-Feng Shen11
Estimated H-index: 11
(AS: Academia Sinica)
The climatic variability hypothesis posits that the magnitude of climatic variability increases with latitude, elevation, or both, and that greater variability selects for organisms with broader temperature tolerances, enabling them to be geographically widespread. We tested this classical hypothesis for the elevational range sizes of more than 16,500 terrestrial vertebrates on 180 montane gradients. In support of the hypothesis, mean elevational range size was positively correlated with the sco...
Published on Mar 1, 2015in Journal of Animal Ecology4.36
Sarah C. Maunsell8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Griffith University),
Roger Kitching38
Estimated H-index: 38
(Griffith University)
+ 1 AuthorsRebecca J. Morris12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Oxford)
Summary Gradients in elevation are increasingly used to investigate how species respond to changes in local climatic conditions. Whilst many studies have shown elevational patterns in species richness and turnover, little is known about how food web structure is affected by elevation. Contrasting responses of predator and prey species to elevation may lead to changes in food web structure. We investigated how the quantitative structure of a herbivore-parasitoid food web changes with elevation in...
Published on Nov 1, 2014in Global Ecology and Biogeography5.67
Yongjie Wu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Robert K. Colwell58
Estimated H-index: 58
(UConn: University of Connecticut)
+ 7 AuthorsFumin Lei31
Estimated H-index: 31
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Aim To understand the causes of historical and current elevational richness patterns of Leiothrichinae babblers, a diverse and mostly endemic group of birds. Location A 5000-m elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Methods By means of a dated phylogenetic tree and reconstructed ancestral states, we estimated elevation-specific diversification rate, applied a new method to estimate colonization frequency and age and, for the first time, modelled historical species richness pattern...
Published on Aug 6, 2014in PLOS ONE2.78
John T. Longino28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UofU: University of Utah),
Michael G. Branstetter11
Estimated H-index: 11
(National Museum of Natural History),
Robert K. Colwell58
Estimated H-index: 58
(UConn: University of Connecticut)
In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. Fr...
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Ecography5.95
Catherine H. Graham42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SBU: Stony Brook University),
Ana Carolina Carnaval19
Estimated H-index: 19
(CUNY: City University of New York)
+ 12 AuthorsStephen B. Baines27
Estimated H-index: 27
(SBU: Stony Brook University)
Determining how ecological and evolutionary processes produce spatial variation in local species richness remains an unresolved challenge. Using mountains as a model system, we outline an integrative research approach to evaluate the infl uence of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms on the generation and maintenance of patterns of species richness along and among elevational gradients. Biodiversity scientists interested in patterns of species richness typically start by documenting patterns o...
Published on Nov 1, 2013in Journal of Biogeography3.88
Andrew D. Letten7
Estimated H-index: 7
(UNSW: University of New South Wales),
S. Kathleen Lyons23
Estimated H-index: 23
(National Museum of Natural History),
Angela T. Moles38
Estimated H-index: 38
(UNSW: University of New South Wales)
Published on Mar 1, 2013in Ecography5.95
Jayme Augusto Prevedello10
Estimated H-index: 10
,
Marcos de Souza Lima Figueiredo7
Estimated H-index: 7
+ 1 AuthorsMarcus Vinícius Vieira19
Estimated H-index: 19
Edge effects strongly affect the abundance and distribution of organisms across landscapes, with wide-ranging implications in ecology and conservation biology. The extensive literature on the subject has traditionally considered that edge effects result from the active avoidance or preference of organisms for certain portions of the habitat patch, assuming that abundance is uniform across a patch when environmental conditions are uniform. We demonstrate that this assumption is incorrect due to t...
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Kateřina Tvardíková1
Estimated H-index: 1
Dizertacni prace popisuje diverzitu ptactva podel kompletniho výskoveho gradientu a v lesnich fragmentech v nižinach Papuy-Nove Guiney. Zaměřuje se zejmena na diverzitu jednotlivých potravnich spolecenstev a diskutuje jejich vazby na prostředi a potravni nabidku. Specificky se zaměřuje na lesni hmyzožrave ptactvo, jejich predacni tlak na hmyz, potravni specializace a preference, ci některe ze způsobů jak hmyzožravi ptaci vyhledavaji potravu.
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Ecography5.95
Xiangping Wang16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Ministry of Education),
FANGJingyun65
Estimated H-index: 65
(Ministry of Education)
The relative effects of climate and geometric constraints on geographic diversity patterns have long been controversial. We developed a new method to assess the role of geometric constraints in shaping altitudinal richness patterns. We showed how plant species richness on four mountains in southwest China are shaped by geometric constraints and environmental gradients together. Contrary to previous studies, our results suggested that: 1) small- and large-ranged species richness were largely cont...
Cited By20
Newest
Published on Apr 25, 2019in Scientific Reports4.01
Matthew Chidozie Ogwu (University of Benin), Koichi Takahashi20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Shinshu University)
+ 4 AuthorsJonathan M. Adams33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Cranfield University)
Little is known of how fungal distribution ranges vary with elevation. We studied fungal diversity and community composition from 740 to 2940 m above sea level on Mt. Norikura, Japan, sequencing the ITS2 region. There was a clear trend, repeated across each of the fungal phyla (Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, Zygomycota, Chytridomycota and Glomeromycota), and across the whole fungal community combined, towards an increased elevational range of higher elevation OTUs, conforming to the elevational Rapo...
Published on Jul 4, 2019in Biological Journal of The Linnean Society2.20
Giovanni Amori20
Estimated H-index: 20
,
Luigi Boitani50
Estimated H-index: 50
+ 2 AuthorsLuca Luiselli30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Rivers State University of Science and Technology)
Published on 2019in Canadian Journal of Zoology1.31
Yang Xu (NCU: Nanchang University), Xiongjun Liu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(NCU: Nanchang University)
+ 3 AuthorsShan Ouyang5
Estimated H-index: 5
(NCU: Nanchang University)
Published on 2019in Ecosphere2.75
John T. Longino28
Estimated H-index: 28
(UofU: University of Utah),
Michael G. Branstetter11
Estimated H-index: 11
(USU: Utah State University),
Philip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis)
Published on Jul 1, 2019in Journal of Arid Environments1.82
João V. Leite4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Porto),
João Carlos Campos7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Porto)
+ 2 AuthorsJosé Carlos Brito28
Estimated H-index: 28
(University of Porto)
Abstract Remotely sensed estimates represent relevant tools for assessing biodiversity distribution, yet their relationships with functional groups across drylands have never been evaluated. We assessed relationship between bio-indicators derived by the ESA Diversity II project and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates in five drylands. Twenty seven bio-indicators were derived from MERIS data, including averages and inter-annual variability of seasonally aggregated proxies for net primary prod...
Published on Mar 3, 2019in Global Ecology and Biogeography5.67
Florian Bärtschi1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Basel),
Christy M. McCain24
Estimated H-index: 24
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
+ 3 AuthorsJan Beck2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Basel)
Published on May 1, 2019in Biodiversity and Conservation3.14
E. J. Dale (Griffith University), Roger Kitching38
Estimated H-index: 38
(Griffith University)
+ 2 AuthorsLouise A. Ashton10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Griffith University)
Understanding how assemblages of invertebrates change over continuous elevational gradients not only generates an understanding of current rules of community assembly but may also be useful for predicting the future distributions of species under global change. Temperature decreases predictably with increasing elevation and, accordingly, gradients in elevation permit the study of adjacent climates within small geographical areas. The present study examines if and how assemblages of moths change ...
Published on May 1, 2019in Ecography5.95
Tim Szewczyk1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNH: University of New Hampshire),
Christy M. McCain24
Estimated H-index: 24
(CU: University of Colorado Boulder)
Understanding the forces that shape the distribution of biodiversity across spatial scales is central in ecology and critical to effective conservation. To assess effects of possible richness drivers, we sampled ant communities on four elevational transects across two mountain ranges in Colorado, USA, with seven or eight sites on each transect and twenty repeatedly sampled pitfall trap pairs at each site each for a total of 90 d. With a multi‐scale hierarchical Bayesian community occupancy model...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries3.51
Xiongjun Liu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(NCU: Nanchang University),
Jiajun Qin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NCU: Nanchang University)
+ 2 AuthorsXiao-Ping Wu6
Estimated H-index: 6
(NCU: Nanchang University)
The Yangtze River is a biodiversity hotspot, and it has the most diverse fish assemblages on Earth. Dam construction is one of the main causes of fish biodiversity decline. The Three Gorges Dam (TGD) is the world’s largest hydroelectric dam, which is a cause of concern for ecologists worldwide, mainly regarding the negative impacts on biodiversity and the ecological processes in the region. Information on the biodiversity patterns of fish is vital for informing conservation and management strate...
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