DSpace Repository

Detection of macro-ecological patterns in South American hummingbirds is affected by spatial scale

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Rahbek, Carsten
dc.contributor.author Graves, Gary R.
dc.date.accessioned 2007-08-06T16:54:52Z
dc.date.available 2007-08-06T16:54:52Z
dc.date.issued 2000
dc.identifier.citation Proceedings Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, 267(1459): 2259-2265
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/2069
dc.description.abstract Scale is widely recognized as a fundamental conceptual problem in biology, but the question of whether species-richness patterns vary with scale is often ignored in macro-ecological analyses, despite the increasing application of such data in international conservation programmes. We tested for scaling effects in species-richness gradients with spatially scaled data for 241 species of South American hummingbirds (Trochilidae). Analyses revealed that scale matters above and beyond the effect of quadrat area. Species richness was positively correlated with latitude and topographical relief at ten different spatial scales spanning two orders of magnitude (ca. 12 300 to ca. 1225 000 km2). Surprisingly, when the influence of topography was removed, the conditional variation in species richness explained by latitude fell precipitously to insignificance at coarser spatial scales. The perception of macro-ecological pattern thus depends directly upon the scale of analysis. Although our results suggest there is no single correct scale for macro-ecological analyses, the averaging effect of quadrat sampling at coarser geographical scales obscures the fine structure of species-richness gradients and localized richness peaks, decreasing the power of statistical tests to discriminate the causal agents of regional richness gradients. Ideally, the scale of analysis should be varied systematically to provide the optimal resolution of macro-ecological pattern. en_US
dc.format.extent 321226 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.title Detection of macro-ecological patterns in South American hummingbirds is affected by spatial scale

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace


My Account