Are locally rare species abundant elsewhere in their geographical range?

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dc.contributor.author Murray, BR
dc.contributor.author Lepschi, BJ
dc.date.accessioned 2009-12-21T02:30:05Z
dc.date.issued 2004-06
dc.date.issued 2004-06
dc.identifier.citation Austral Ecology, 2004, 29 (3), pp. 287 - 293
dc.identifier.citation Austral Ecology, 2004, 29 (3), pp. 287 - 293
dc.identifier.issn 1442-9985
dc.identifier.other C1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/3748
dc.description.abstract Ecologists have long sought to understand why some species are rare and others common. For the most part, inconsistent relationships between local rarity and underlying mechanisms have emerged. One possibility for this inconsistency is that locally rare species may not always be rare. However, it is largely unknown whether most locally rare species in a community possess the capacity to become abundant elsewhere in their geographical range. Here, we identified 57 locally rare plant species of open forest in south-eastern Australia. We found that most of these species (91%) occurred in higher abundance at other sites within their geographical range (somewhere-abundant species), while the remaining small percentage of locally rare species were consistently rare (everywhere-sparse species). Somewhere-abundant species had significantly smaller seeds on average than everywhere-sparse species in cross-species regression analysis. This pattern was not maintained when the influence of other life-history attributes was controlled for, or when phylogenetic relatedness among species was considered explicitly in phylogenetic regression analysis. In both cross-species and phylogenetic regressions, somewhere-abundant and everywhere-sparse species did not differ significantly with respect to growth form, height, regeneration-after-fire strategy, or dispersal. Our findings provide further evidence for the notion that theories to account for local rarity which are couched in terms of within-community interactions alone are incomplete for the majority of species, because they need to account for different outcomes in different places.
dc.description.abstract Ecologists have long sought to understand why some species are rare and others common. For the most part, inconsistent relationships between local rarity and underlying mechanisms have emerged. One possibility for this inconsistency is that locally rare species may not always be rare. However, it is largely unknown whether most locally rare species in a community possess the capacity to become abundant elsewhere in their geographical range. Here, we identified 57 locally rare plant species of open forest in south-eastern Australia. We found that most of these species (91%) occurred in higher abundance at other sites within their geographical range (somewhere-abundant species), while the remaining small percentage of locally rare species were consistently rare (everywhere-sparse species). Somewhere-abundant species had significantly smaller seeds on average than everywhere-sparse species in cross-species regression analysis. This pattern was not maintained when the influence of other life-history attributes was controlled for, or when phylogenetic relatedness among species was considered explicitly in phylogenetic regression analysis. In both cross-species and phylogenetic regressions, somewhere-abundant and everywhere-sparse species did not differ significantly with respect to growth form, height, regeneration-after-fire strategy, or dispersal. Our findings provide further evidence for the notion that theories to account for local rarity which are couched in terms of within-community interactions alone are incomplete for the majority of species, because they need to account for different outcomes in different places.
dc.language eng
dc.language eng
dc.relation.isbasedon 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2004.01365.x
dc.title Are locally rare species abundant elsewhere in their geographical range?
dc.type Journal Article
dc.description.version Published
dc.parent Austral Ecology
dc.parent Austral Ecology
dc.journal.volume 3
dc.journal.volume 29
dc.journal.number en_US
dc.publocation Carlton en_US
dc.publocation Melbourne, Australia
dc.identifier.startpage 287 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 293 en_US
dc.cauo.name SCI.Environmental Sciences en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.conference International Sources of Insecurity Conference
dc.for 0602 Ecology
dc.personcode 010046
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Ecology en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.date.activity 2004-11-17
dc.location.activity Melbourne, Australia
dc.description.keywords Abundance
dc.description.keywords Abundance
dc.description.keywords Open forest
dc.description.keywords Open forest
dc.description.keywords Phylogenetic regression
dc.description.keywords Phylogenetic regression
dc.description.keywords Rarity
dc.description.keywords Rarity
dc.description.keywords Seed size
dc.description.keywords Seed size
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Science
utslib.copyright.status Closed Access
utslib.copyright.date 2015-04-15 12:17:09.805752+10
pubs.consider-herdc true
utslib.collection.history Closed (ID: 3)
utslib.collection.history School of the Environment (ID: 344)


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