Macroecological patterns in British breeding birds: covariation of species’geographical range sizes at differing spatial scales

Authors

  • Richard D. Gregory,

    1. R. D. Gregory (rgregory@bio.org) British Trust for Ornithology, National Centre for Ornithology, The Numery, thesfond, norfolk, U.K. 1P24 2PU. T. M. Blackburn, NERC Centre for Population Biology Imperial college at silwood Park Avcot Berkshire, U. K. SL5 7PY
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  • Tim M. Blackburn

    1. R. D. Gregory (rgregory@bio.org) British Trust for Ornithology, National Centre for Ornithology, The Numery, thesfond, norfolk, U.K. 1P24 2PU. T. M. Blackburn, NERC Centre for Population Biology Imperial college at silwood Park Avcot Berkshire, U. K. SL5 7PY
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Abstract

The availability of high quality data on the distribution and abundance of British birds at the national scale means that this fauna is the basis for a growing body of macroecological study. Nevertheless. questions remain about how representative of wider patterns the distributions and abundances of birds in Britain may be. Here, we use data on the British. European and global breeding distributions of British birds to show that species that are widespread in Britain also tend to be widespread across larger regions. These results hold for both residents and migrants separately, and when controlling for the phylogenetic related ness of species. Species with wide latitudinal spans in Europe also tend to have large British ranges, with the largest British ranges exhibited by species inhabiting mid-latitudes in Europe. These results demonstrate that the distributions of birds within Britain are not simply idiosyacratic. but do reflect aspects of their broader distributions.

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