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Data from: Determinants of northerly range limits along the Himalayan bird diversity gradient

Citation

Price, Trevor D. et al. (2011), Data from: Determinants of northerly range limits along the Himalayan bird diversity gradient, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8967

Abstract

The first-order explanation for the latitudinal gradient in species diversity must lie in why species fail to expand ranges across different climatic regimes. Theories of species gradients based in niche conservatism assume that whole clades are confined to particular climatic regimes, because the traits they share limit adaptation to alternative regimes. We assess these theories in an analysis of the twofold decline in bird species richness along the Himalayas from the southeast to the northwest. The presence of fewer species in the northwest is entirely due to a steep decline in the number of forest species; species occupying more open habitats show a reversed gradient. Forest species numbers are exceptionally high at mid-elevations (1,000-2,000m) in the southeast, which experience a warm wet climate not present in the northwest, and a high proportion of these species fail to expand their range to the northwest. Despite this, many species do have populations or close relatives which straddle different climatic regimes, along altitudinal gradients and/or the regional gradient, implying that climate-based niche conservatism per se does not strongly constrain range limits. We argue that climate- and competition-mediated resource distributions are important in setting northerly range limits and show that one measure of forest resources (foliage density) is lower in the northwest.

Usage Notes

Location

Himalayas