Linking species-environment relationships and multiple spatial scales in community ecology

E. Leyequien, W.F. de Boer, A.K. Skidmore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Biological communities are organised at multiple functional spatial scales and interactions between these scales determine both local and regional patterns of species richness. Despite the recognition that species-environment relationships are scale-dependent many ecologists have neglected the influence of scale on species richness patterns and processes. We analysed the influence of spatially explicit bio-physical variables on a bird community in a Mexican region denominated as an important area for bird conservation. Using a multiple scale approach with plot, patch and landscape level variables using abundance and presence-absence data, we demonstrated that landscape variables explained most of the variation in bird species in both abundance and presence-absence analyses in all explanatory sets. Interestingly, results demonstrated that variation in community structure was described best at family-level than at genera- or species-level. In addition, shade coffee plantations could provide habitat forneo-tropicalmigrants and forest-dependent birds (e.g.; endemic, protected species). Selecting the appropriate scale(s) of management in conservation strategies could have important implications for conservation of bird communities in Cuetzalan region.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBirds, Traditional Coffee Plantations and Spatial complexity: The Diversity Puzzle
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen University & Research Centre
ISBN (Print)90-8504-416-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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