The Journal of animal ecology

Endemicity and land-use type influence the abundance-range-size relationship of birds on a tropical island.

Publication Date Oct 20, 2020


A single adverse environment event can threaten the survival of small-ranged species while random fluctuations in population size increase the extinction risk of less-abundant species. The abundance-range-size relationship (ARR) is usually positive, which means that smaller-ranged species are often of low abundance and might face both problems simultaneously. The ARR has been reported to be negative on tropical islands, perhaps allowing endemic species in such environments to remain extant. But there is a need to understand how endemism and land-use interact to shape ARR. Using 41 highly replicated transects along the full elevational gradient of Sri Lanka, we determined the following: (a) the direction of ARR, (b) if endemism affects ARR and (c) if land-use (rainforest, buffer and agriculture) changes ARR differently for endemics and non-endemics. Additionally, (d) we identified endemics that had both lower abundances and smaller range sizes, and ranked them from most threatened (specific to rainforests) to least threatened using a weighted-interaction nestedness estimator. (a) We found a positive relationship between species abundances and range size. This positive ARR was maintained among endemic and non-endemic species, across land-use types and at local and regional scales. (b) The ARR interacted with endemicity and land-use. Endemics with smaller range sizes had higher abundances than non-endemics, and particularly higher in rainforests compared to agriculture. In contrast, species with larger range sizes had similar a...


Abundance-range-size Relationship Smaller Range Sizes Endemics Tropical Islands Species In Such Environments Extinction Risk Malkoha Myophonus Nestedness Elevational Range Size

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