Evol Ecol Res 3: 449-463 (2001)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity in montane mammal communities of western North America

Elizabeth A. Hadly1* and Brian A. Maurer2

1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020 and 2Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Department of Geography, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: hadly@stanford.edu


We present the results of the first analysis of distributional patterns of the same taxa across thousands of kilometres and thousands of years, which demonstrate that the exponents for the power relationships in space and time are similar. In both space and time, the distribution of mammalian taxa of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains follows a ‘nested subset’ pattern. We conclude that species identities and their relative abundances are non-random properties of communities that persist over long periods of ecological time and across geographic space. This is consistent with species abundance contributing heavily to evolutionary patterns, and allows predictions of how species within communities will respond to future global change.

Keywords: biogeography, Holocene, nestedness, nested subset, palaeontology.

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