Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

The American Naturalist

Volume

181

Issue

4

Publisher

American Society of Naturalists

Publication Date

4-2013

DOI

10.5061/dryad.q82nn

Abstract

Studies of biodiversity typically assume that all species are equivalent. However, some species in a community maintain viable populations in the study area, while others occur only occasionally as transient individuals. Here we show that North American bird communities can reliably be divided into core and transient species groups and that the richness of each group is driven by different processes. The richness of core species is influenced primarily by local environmental conditions, while the richness of transient species is influenced primarily by the heterogeneity of the surrounding landscape. This demonstrates that the well-known effects of the local environment and landscape heterogeneity on overall species richness are the result of two sets of processes operating differentially on core and transient species. Models of species richness should focus on explaining two distinct patterns, those of core and transient species, rather than a single pattern for the community as a whole.

Comments

This article can be accessed here http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q82nn

The publisher, American Society of Naturalists, retains the copyright to this work.

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