Geographic range size and determinants of avian species richness

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Walter Jetz, Carsten Rahbek

Geographic patterns in species richness are mainly based on wide-ranging species because their larger number of distribution records has a disproportionate contribution to the species richness counts. Here we demonstrate how this effect strongly influences our understanding of what determines species richness. Using both conventional and spatial regression models, we show that for sub-Saharan African birds, the apparent role of productivity diminishes with decreasing range size, whereas the significance of topographic heterogeneity increases. The relative importance of geometric constraints from the continental edge is moderate. Our findings highlight the failure of traditional species richness models to account for narrow-ranging species that frequently are also threatened.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience
Volume297
Issue number5586
Pages (from-to)1548-51
Number of pages3
ISSN0036-8075
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Africa South of the Sahara; Animals; Birds; Climate; Ecosystem; Homing Behavior; Models, Biological; Regression Analysis

ID: 9615275