Niche breadth and geographical range: ecological compensation for geographical rarity in rainforest frogs

Williams, Yvette M., Williams, Stephen E., Alford, Ross A., Waycott, Michelle, and Johnson, Christopher N. (2006) Niche breadth and geographical range: ecological compensation for geographical rarity in rainforest frogs. Biology Letters, 2 (4). pp. 532-535.

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Abstract

We investigated the relationship between diet specialization and geographical range in Cophixalus, a genus of microhylid frogs from the Wet Tropics of northern Queensland, Australia. The geographical ranges of these species vary from a few square kilometres in species restricted to a single mountain top to the entire region for the widespread species. Although macroecological theory predicts that species with broad niches should have the largest geographical ranges, we found the opposite: geographically rare species were diet generalists and widespread species were diet specialists. We argue that this pattern is a product of extinction filtering, whereby geographically rare and therefore extinction-prone species are more likely to persist if they are diet generalists.

Item ID: 1651
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-957X
Keywords: niche breadth; geographical range; extinction; rarity; diet; ecological specialization
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2007
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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