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Data from: A continent-scale test of multiple hypotheses on the abundances of Neotropical birds

Citation

Kikuchi, David W.; Kattan, Gustavo H.; Velez, Kimberly C. Navarro (2018), Data from: A continent-scale test of multiple hypotheses on the abundances of Neotropical birds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k5912k6

Abstract

Explaining variation in the abundance of species remains a challenge in ecology. We sought to explain variation in abundance of Neotropical forest birds using a dataset of population densities of 596 species. We tested a priori hypotheses for the roles of species traits, environmental factors, and species interactions. Specifically, we focused on four factors: 1) body mass (trait); 2) habitat type (environmental factor), 3) net primary productivity (NPP; environmental factor); and 4) species richness of competitors (species interaction). Body size explained much variation in density, although only when analyzed at higher taxonomic levels. Habitat type was a strong predictor of density. The relationship between density and productivity was weak. Densities were related negatively to the species richness of heterospecifics, however – this trend was particularly strong within closely related groups. Our results show that the influence of energetic factors such as body size and productivity depends on phylogeny, and they act through indirect relations with other variables; alternative ecological factors such as habitat structure and species interactions play a more direct and stronger role in determining abundance than previously thought.

Usage Notes

Location

Neotropics