Faith (2003) raises three questions concerning the evidence obtained from our applications that showed environmental diversity (ED; Faith and Walker 1996 ) to be a poor predictor of species diversity among terrestrial vertebrates in Europe ( Araújo et al. 2001 ). First, that implementation of the p‐median model in our study was likely to provide conservative estimates of species diversity, relative to more effective ED assessments. Second, that poor sampling of species across Europe might have caused ED analyses to underestimate the true recovery of species. Third, that randomisation tests are inadequate null models to evaluate the performance of ED. He concludes that, when taken together, these points should lead to a more positive interpretation of our results. In response, we discuss each of these claims and suggest that they are unwarranted. ED performed poorly with terrestrial vertebrates in Europe, partly because real‐world species distributions do not always behave as predicted by ED theory. In particular 1) species responses to environmental gradients are not always symmetrical and normally bell‐shaped; but more importantly, 2) species do not have equal probabilities of having the centres of their distribution anywhere in environmental space. Consequently, rather than being spread evenly across environmental
Ecography – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 2003
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