Niche differentiation in Mexican birds: using point occurrences to detect ecological innovation

Niche differentiation in Mexican birds: using point occurrences to detect ecological innovation The development of quantitative models of species’ distributions has largely ignored the potential for intraspecific variation in species’ niche requirements. Application of such models may nevertheless provide a rich, untapped opportunity to address the basic issue of niche conservatism vs. evolution. We illustrate this potential using genetic algorithms coupled with geographical information systems, which provide a powerful and novel approach to characterizing species’ ecological niches and geographical distributions. Our example consists of several species of Mexican birds with recognized subspecies, and associated climatic and vegetation data. Our basic protocol is to develop an ecological niche model for each subspecies, and use this model to predict distributions of other subspecies. In some cases, the ecological niche model inferred for one subspecies provides an excellent descriptor of other subspecies’ ranges, whereas in other cases the prediction is rather poor. We suggest that the latter may reveal the potential existence of evolved, intraspecific niche differentiation. We discuss alternative, non‐evolutionary explanations, and point out potential implications of our results for predictive models of species’ invasions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

Niche differentiation in Mexican birds: using point occurrences to detect ecological innovation

Ecology Letters, Volume 6 (8) – Aug 1, 2003

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1461-023X
eISSN
1461-0248
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00502.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The development of quantitative models of species’ distributions has largely ignored the potential for intraspecific variation in species’ niche requirements. Application of such models may nevertheless provide a rich, untapped opportunity to address the basic issue of niche conservatism vs. evolution. We illustrate this potential using genetic algorithms coupled with geographical information systems, which provide a powerful and novel approach to characterizing species’ ecological niches and geographical distributions. Our example consists of several species of Mexican birds with recognized subspecies, and associated climatic and vegetation data. Our basic protocol is to develop an ecological niche model for each subspecies, and use this model to predict distributions of other subspecies. In some cases, the ecological niche model inferred for one subspecies provides an excellent descriptor of other subspecies’ ranges, whereas in other cases the prediction is rather poor. We suggest that the latter may reveal the potential existence of evolved, intraspecific niche differentiation. We discuss alternative, non‐evolutionary explanations, and point out potential implications of our results for predictive models of species’ invasions.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2003

References

  • Evaluating resource selection functions
    Boyce, Boyce; Vernier, Vernier; Nielsen, Nielsen; Schmiegelow, Schmiegelow
  • Connecting geographic distributions with population processes
    Maurer, Maurer; Taper, Taper
  • Should data be partitioned spatially before building large‐scale distribution models
    Osborne, Osborne; Suarez‐Seoane, Suarez‐Seoane
  • Alternate species concepts as bases for determining priority conservation areas
    Peterson, Peterson; Navarro‐Sigüenza, Navarro‐Sigüenza
  • Predicting species invasions using ecological niche modeling: New approaches from bioinformatics attack a pressing problem
    Peterson, Peterson; Vieglais, Vieglais
  • On the relationship between niche and distribution
    Pulliam, Pulliam
  • Effects of sample size on accuracy of species distribution models
    Stockwell, Stockwell; Peterson, Peterson

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