Data from: Misuse of bird digital distribution maps creates reversed spatial diversity patterns in the Amazon
Vale, Mariana M.; Marques, Tamires L.; Cohn-Haft, Mario; Vieira., Marcus Vinícius (2017), Data from: Misuse of bird digital distribution maps creates reversed spatial diversity patterns in the Amazon, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t6dg1
It is well known that bird richness in the Amazon is greater in upland forests and that seasonally flooded forest is particularly species poor. However, the misleading pattern of greater bird richness in seasonally flooded forest has emerged seemingly unnoticed numerous times in richness maps in the literature. We hypothesize that commission errors in digital distribution maps (DDMs) are the cause behind the misleading richness pattern. In the Amazon, commission errors are a consequence of the different methodological treatment given to large-ranged versus small-ranged habitat specialists when mapping distributions. DDMs of 1007 Amazonian birds were examined, and maps that had commission errors were corrected. We generated two richness maps, one from the overlay of original DDMs and another from the overlay of the corrected ones. We identified 291 species whose distribution maps had errors. In the original data, seasonally flooded forests showed higher species richness than upland forest, but this pattern was reverted in the corrected richness map. Commission errors were 35 times more likely in the seasonally flooded forest. We conclude that DDMs accurately portray the distribution of single species in the Amazon. Commission errors in individual maps, however, accumulate when they are overlaid, explaining the misleading pattern for birds in the Amazon. DDMs can continue to be used mapping richness, as long as, at a regional scale: (1) basic map refinements are carried, or (2) only small-range species are used for mapping species richness.