Journal article

Is there an ecological basis for species abundance distributions?

Jian DL Yen, James R Thomson, Ralph Mac Nally

OECOLOGIA | SPRINGER | Published : 2013


Community ecologists have attempted to explain species abundance distribution (SAD) shape for more than 80 years, but usually without relating SAD shape explicitly to ecological variables. We explored whether the scale (total assemblage abundance) and shape (assemblage evenness) of avifaunal SADs were related to ecological covariates. We used data on avifaunas, in-site habitat structure and landscape context that were assembled from previous studies; this amounted to 197 transects distributed across 16,000 km(2) of the box-ironbark forests of southeastern Australia. We used Bayesian conditional autoregressive models to link SAD scale and shape to these ecological covariates. Variation in SAD..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Greg Horrocks, Todd Soderquist, Walter Harwood, and many others for their efforts in the field. Katherine Harrisson provided helpful comments on a draft manuscript. Parts of the work were supported by Australian Research Council grants nos LP0560518, DP0984170, DP0343898 and LP0990038. This paper is contribution no. 241 from the Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University.