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Data from: Dispersal, niche, and isolation processes jointly explain species turnover patterns of nonvolant small mammals in a large mountainous region of China

Citation

Wen, Zhixin et al. (2016), Data from: Dispersal, niche, and isolation processes jointly explain species turnover patterns of nonvolant small mammals in a large mountainous region of China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7qb11

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms that govern the spatial patterns of species turnover (beta diversity) has been one of the fundamental issues in biogeography. Species turnover is generally recognized as strong in mountainous regions, but the way in which different processes (dispersal, niche, and isolation) have shaped the spatial turnover patterns in mountainous regions remains largely unexplored. Here, we explore the directional and elevational patterns of species turnover for nonvolant small mammals in the Hengduan Mountains of southwest China and distinguish the relative roles of geographic distance, environmental distance, and geographic isolation on the patterns. The spatial turnover was assessed using the halving distance (km), which was the geographic distance that halved the similarity (Jaccard similarity) from its initial value. The halving distance was calculated for the linear, logarithmic, and exponential regression models between Jaccard similarity and geographic distance. We found that the east–west turnover is generally faster than the south–north turnover for high-latitudinal regions in the Hengduan Mountains and that this pattern corresponds to the geographic structure of the major mountain ranges and rivers that mainly extend in a south–north direction. There is an increasing trend of turnover toward the higher-elevation zones. Most of the variation in the Jaccard similarity could be explained by the pure effect of geographic distance and the joint effects of geographic distance, environmental distance, and average elevation difference. Our study indicates that dispersal, niche, and isolation processes are all important determinants of the spatial turnover patterns of nonvolant small mammals in the Hengduan Mountains. The spatial configuration of the landscape and geographic isolation can strongly influence the rate of species turnover in mountainous regions at multiple spatial scales.

Usage Notes

Location

the Hengduan Mountains