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The distribution of species range size: a stochastic process

Gaston, K.J. and He, F. (2002) The distribution of species range size: a stochastic process. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 269 (1495). pp. 1079-1086. ISSN 1471-2954

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Abstract

The major role played by environmental factors in determining the geographical range sizes of species raises the possibility of describing their long-term dynamics in relatively simple terms, a goal which has hitherto proved elusive. Here we develop a stochastic differential equation to describe the dynamics of the range size of an individual species based on the relationship between abundance and range size, derive a limiting stationary probability model to quantify the stochastic nature of the range size for that species at steady state, and then generalize this model to the species-range size distribution for an assemblage. The model fits well to several empirical datasets of the geographical range sizes of species in taxonomic assemblages, and provides the simplest explanation of species-range size distributions to date.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Royal Society, 2002. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: geographical range size, macroecology, stochasticity, temporal dynamics
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:49
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2002.1969
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: DOI:10.1098/rspb.2002.1969
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1342

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