White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Structure of the species-energy relationship

Bonn, A., Storch, D. and Gaston, K.J. (2004) Structure of the species-energy relationship. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271 (1549). pp. 1685-1691. ISSN 1471-2954


Download (316Kb)


The relationship between energy availability and species richness (the species-energy relationship) is one of the best documented macroecological phenomena. However, the structure of species distribution along the gradient, the proximate driver of the relationship, is poorly known. Here, using data on the distribution of birds in southern Africa, for which species richness increases linearly with energy availability, we provide an explicit determination of this structure. We show that most species exhibit increasing occupancy towards more productive regions (occurring in more grid cells within a productivity class). However, average reporting rates per species within occupied grid cells, a correlate of local density, do not show a similar increase. The mean range of used energy levels and the mean geographical range size of species in southern Africa decreases along the energy gradient, as most species are present at high productivity levels but only some can extend their ranges towards lower levels. Species turnover among grid cells consequently decreases towards high energy levels. In summary, these patterns support the hypothesis that higher productivity leads to more species by increasing the probability of occurrence of resources that enable the persistence of viable populations, without necessarily affecting local population densities.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © Royal Society 2004. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Species-Energy Relationship, Species-Area Effect, Productivity, Occupancy, Species Turnover
Institution: The University of Sheffield
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 Officer
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 16:24
Published Version: http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/openurl.asp?gen...
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2745
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1419

Actions (repository staff only: login required)