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The use of Australian bioregions as spatial units of analysis to explore relationships between climate and songbird diversity

Mackey, Brendan; Williamson, Grant; Christidis, Les; Norman, J; Brook, B W; Bowman, David M.J.S.

Description

Biogeographers often investigate patterns of biodiversity at continental and global scales, using existing data georeferenced to a lattice of cells of latitude and longitude. Problems can arise with this approach when the available biological data are insufficient to adequately sample each cell and the cells are environmentally heterogeneous. An alternative, though less-often employed, approach is to use bioregions (defined as areas with distinctive biophysical environmental characteristics) as...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMackey, Brendan
dc.contributor.authorWilliamson, Grant
dc.contributor.authorChristidis, Les
dc.contributor.authorNorman, J
dc.contributor.authorBrook, B W
dc.contributor.authorBowman, David M.J.S.
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:57:07Z
dc.identifier.issn1038-2097
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/60519
dc.description.abstractBiogeographers often investigate patterns of biodiversity at continental and global scales, using existing data georeferenced to a lattice of cells of latitude and longitude. Problems can arise with this approach when the available biological data are insufficient to adequately sample each cell and the cells are environmentally heterogeneous. An alternative, though less-often employed, approach is to use bioregions (defined as areas with distinctive biophysical environmental characteristics) as the basic sampling unit and to statistically control for unequal areas of regions. Here we applied this latter approach with the Interim Biogeographical Regionalisation of Australia (IBRA) to analyse continental patterns of songbird species richness in relation to mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and mean wet season temperature, which are all predicted to substantially change given anthropogenic climate change. We used the Birds Australia database that has a large sample (>1,560,000) of distribution records covering Australia. For each of the 85 IBRAs, we determined the total number of songbird species and standardized these richness values accounting for the species-area effect by including the log of bioregion area as a covariate in the statistical models. Our analysis of standardized bioregion songbirds richness showed that the best supported model, based on information theory statistics included an interaction of mean annual temperature and precipitation (48.6% deviance explained). The fitted model showed declining richness with increasing temperature and declining precipitation, signalling that future climates may result in regional declines in songbird abundance. We suggest our simple empirical-statistical approach, using bioregions as the spatial unit, has promise for continental and global impact assessment of diversity changes and for conservation planning.
dc.publisherSurrey Beatty & Sons
dc.sourcePacific Conservation Biology
dc.subjectKeywords: biodiversity; biogeography; climate conditions; continental shelf; ecological modeling; environmental impact assessment; habitat conservation; heterogeneity; population decline; precipitation (climatology); songbird; spatial analysis; species diversity; s Biodiversity; Bioregionalization; Climate; Conservation planning; Passeriformes; Songbirds
dc.titleThe use of Australian bioregions as spatial units of analysis to explore relationships between climate and songbird diversity
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume17
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB545
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMackey, Brendan, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationWilliamson, Grant, University of Tasmania
local.contributor.affiliationChristidis, Les, Southern Cross University
local.contributor.affiliationNorman, J, University of Melbourne
local.contributor.affiliationBrook, B W, University of Adelaide
local.contributor.affiliationBowman, David M.J.S., University of Tasmania
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage354
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage360
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:26:49Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84861449655
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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