ABSTRACT Relationships between spatial patterns of bird and mammal species richness in north‐eastern Mexico were analysed in relation to the location of three biosphere reserves (El Abra‐Tanchipa, El Cielo, and Sierra Gorda) and 13 priority areas recently identified for conservation. Ecological niches were modelled and potential distributions delimited for 285 bird and 114 mammal species using a genetic algorithm based on locality information from museum specimens and 15 selected environmental attributes. Potential distributions were transformed into hypothesized current distributions based on species–habitat associations as reflected in a recent land‐use map. Although species richness was lower when distributions were reduced from potential to current, spatial patterns of potential and current richness were similar. Heuristic, complementarity‐based prioritization procedures were used to identify combinations of areas and sites with maximal species representation: the biosphere reserves included 79% of birds and 74% of mammal species; eight priority areas provided an additional 11% of birds and 13% of mammals; the remaining 10% of birds and 13% of mammals were concentrated in new sites across the study area.
Diversity and Distributions – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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