Carsten Rahbek, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen 0, Denmark. The decline m species nchtiess with increasing elevation IS widely accepted as a general pattern (Table 1) In as much as the elevational gradient is often claimed to mirror the latitudinal gradient, spectes richness is assumed to decrease monotonically (l e because of reduced temperature and consequent decrease in producUvity) Perhaps because such a relation is intuitive, biologists have readily generalized the results of a few early studies of tropical birds as supporting a general biogeographic Table 1 Typical examples of statements atwut the relationship between species nchness and elevation from books and papers in major journals "For all of these reasons, we expect the number of species to decrease with altitude and, m fact, it does " (MacArthur 1972, p 107) "In terrestrial habitats, vanation in species diversity along gradients of elevauon and available soil moisture are [sic] almost as general and striking as latitudinal vanation " (Brown and Gibson 1983, p 502) "In terrestnal environments, a decrease in species with altitude IS a phenomenon almost as widespread as a decrease with latitude " (Begon et al 1990, p 805)
Ecography – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1995
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