Geographic coincidence of richness, mass, conservation value, and response to climate of U.S. land birds

Ecological Applications : a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Ralph GrundelNoel B Pavlovic

Abstract

Distributional patterns across the United States of five avian community breeding-season characteristics--community biomass, richness, constituent species' vulnerability to extirpation, percentage of constituent species' global abundance present in the community (conservation index, CI), and the community's position along the ecological gradient underlying species composition (principal curve ordination score, PC--were described, their covariation was analyzed, and projected effects of climate change on the characteristics and their covariation were modeled. Higher values of biomass, richness, and CI were generally preferred from a conservation perspective. However, higher values of these characteristics often did not coincide geographically; thus regions of the United States would differ in their value for conservation depending on which characteristic was chosen for setting conservation priorities. For instance, correlation patterns between characteristics differed among Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. Among the five characteristics, community richness and the ecological gradient underlying community composition (PC) had the highest correlations with longitude, with richness declining from east to west across the contigu...Continue Reading

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