Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Biol Sci. 2009 Jan 22;276(1655):269-78. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1005.

Global associations between terrestrial producer and vertebrate consumer diversity.

Author information

1
Division of Biological Sciences, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0116, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA. wjetz@ucsd.edu

Abstract

In both ecology and conservation, often a strong positive association is assumed between the diversity of plants as primary producers and that of animals, specifically primary consumers. Such a relationship has been observed at small spatial scales, and a begetting of diversity by diversity is expected under various scenarios of co-evolution and co-adaptation. But positive producer-consumer richness relationships may also arise from similar associations with past opportunities for diversification or contemporary environmental conditions, or from emerging properties of plant diversity such as vegetation complexity or productivity. Here we assess whether the producer-consumer richness relationship generalizes from plot to regional scale and provide a first global test of its strength for vascular plants and endothermic vertebrates. We find strong positive richness associations, but only limited congruence of the most diverse regions. The richness of both primary and higher-level consumers increases with plant richness at similar strength and rate. Environmental conditions emerge as much stronger predictors of consumer richness, and after accounting for environmental differences little variation is explained by plant diversity. We conclude that biotic interactions and strong local associations between plants and consumers only relatively weakly scale up to broad geographical scales and to functionally diverse taxa, for which environmental constraints on richness dominate.

PMID:
18832059
PMCID:
PMC2674345
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2008.1005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center