Morueta-Holme, Naia16; Enquist, Brian J.2; McGill, Brian J.3; Boyle, Brad4; Jørgensen, Peter M.5; Ott, Jeffrey E.6; Peet, Robert K.7; Simova, Irena8; Sloat, Lindsey L.9; Thiers, Barbara10; Violle, Cyrille11; Wiser, Susan K.12; Dolins, Steven13; Donoghue II, John C.4; Kraft, Nathan J.B.14; Regetz, Jim15; Schildhauer, Mark15; Spencer, Nick12; Svenning, J.-C.16
1 Department of Bioscience - Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona / The Santa Fe Institute3 School of Biology and Ecology/Sustainability Solutions Initiative, University of Maine4 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona / The iPlant Collaborative5 Missouri Botanical Garden6 Department of Biology, University of North Carolina7 Department of Biology, University of North Carolina8 Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University in Prague and Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic9 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona10 New York Botanical Garden11 CNRS, UMR5175, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive12 Landcare Research13 Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Bradley University14 Department of Biology, University of Maryland15 National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California16 Department of Bioscience - Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Despite being a fundamental aspect of biodiversity, little is known about what controls species range sizes. This is especially the case for hyperdiverse organisms such as plants. We use the largest botanical data set assembled to date to quantify geographical variation in range size for ~85,000 plant species across the New World. We assess prominent hypothesised range-size controls, finding that plant range sizes are codetermined by habitat area and long- and short-term climate stability. Strong short- and long-term climate instability in large parts of North America, including past glaciations, are associated with broad-ranged species. In contrast, small habitat areas and a stable climate characterise areas with high concentrations of small-ranged species in the Andes, Central America and the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region. The joint roles of area and climate stability strengthen concerns over the potential effects of future climate change and habitat loss on biodiversity.
Ecology Letters, 2013, Vol 16, Issue 12, p. 1446-1454
Climate stability; Geographical range size; Habitat area; New World; Plants; Rapoport’s rule