Lizard community structure along environmental gradients
Article first published online: 28 AUG 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 British Ecological Society
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 79, Issue 2, pages 358–365, March 2010
How to Cite
Buckley, L. B. and Jetz, W. (2010), Lizard community structure along environmental gradients. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79: 358–365. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01612.x
- Issue published online: 5 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 28 AUG 2009
- Received 21 January 2009; accepted 28 July 2009 Handling Editor: Shai Meiri
- more individuals hypothesis;
- rank-abundance distribution;
- species-abundance distribution;
- species–energy theory;
- thermal constraints
1. How the total number of individuals in a community is divided among its species is governed by both the distribution of species along landscape-scale environmental gradients and by local resource partitioning. In vertebrate ectotherms, abiotic environmental conditions may constrain geographic distributions more strongly than local population densities due to thermal constraints on resource acquisition and due to behavioural thermoregulation.
2. We investigate whether local density and species richness are decoupled for lizard communities within the Southwest US by comparing 18 species-abundance distributions.
3. While species richness decreases strongly with decreasing temperature, there is no significant relationship between temperature or resource availability (net primary productivity) and the total number of individuals within a community. Consequently, in more species-rich communities species have lower mean abundances.
4. This suggestion that lizard species richness is not a function of an area’s capacity to support more individuals questions for this group species diversity theories based on this assumption.