Data from: Opposing mechanisms drive richness patterns of core and transient bird species
Coyle, Jessica R.; Hurlbert, Allen H.; White, Ethan P. (2015), Data from: Opposing mechanisms drive richness patterns of core and transient bird species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q82nn
Studies of biodiversity typically assume that all species are equivalent. However, some species in a community maintain viable populations in the study area, while others occur only occasionally as transient individuals. Here we show that North American bird communities can reliably be divided into core and transient species groups, and that the richness of each group is driven by different processes. The richness of core species is influenced primarily by local environmental conditions, while the richness of transient species is influenced primarily by the heterogeneity of the surrounding landscape. This demonstrates that the well-known effects of the local environment and landscape heterogeneity on overall species richness are the result of two sets of processes operating differentially on core and transient species. Models of species richness should focus on explaining two distinct patterns, those of core and transient species, rather than a single pattern for the community as a whole.