Global patterns of geographic range size in birds

Orme, C. David L. and Davies, Richard G. and Olson, Valerie A. and Thomas, Gavin H. and Ding, Tzung-Su and Rasmussen, Pamela C. and Ridgely, Robert S. and Stattersfield, Ali J. and Bennett, Peter M. and Owens, Ian P. F. and Blackburn, Tim M. and Gaston, Kevin J. (2006) Global patterns of geographic range size in birds. PLoS ONE, 4 (7). pp. 1276-1283. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi: (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Large-scale patterns of spatial variation in species geographic range size are central to many fundamental questions in macroecology and conservation biology. However, the global nature of these patterns has remained contentious, since previous studies have been geographically restricted and/or based on small taxonomic groups. Here, using a database on the breeding distributions of birds, we report the first ( to our knowledge) global maps of variation in species range sizes for an entire taxonomic class. We show that range area does not follow a simple latitudinal pattern. Instead, the smallest range areas are attained on islands, in mountainous areas, and largely in the southern hemisphere. In contrast, bird species richness peaks around the equator, and towards higher latitudes. Despite these profoundly different latitudinal patterns, spatially explicit models reveal a weak tendency for areas with high species richness to house species with significantly smaller median range area. Taken together, these results show that for birds many spatial patterns in range size described in geographically restricted analyses do not reflect global rules. It remains to be discovered whether global patterns in geographic range size are best interpreted in terms of geographical variation in species assemblage packing, or in the rates of speciation, extinction, and dispersal that ultimately underlie biodiversity.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 062VU Times Cited: 14 Cited Reference Count: 61 Orme, C. David L. Davies, Richard G. Olson, Valerie A. Thomas, Gavin H. Ding, Tzung-Su Rasmussen, Pamela C. Ridgely, Robert S. Stattersfield, Ali J. Bennett, Peter M. Owens, Ian P. F. Blackburn, Tim M. Gaston, Kevin J.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2008 11:59 UTC
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 11:38 UTC
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