Distribution, abundance and niche breadth of birds: scale matters

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We used local habitat niche breadth, local abundance and body size of non-passerine afrotropical birds in Tsavo East National Park (Kenya) to predict species distributional ranges in Kenya and across Africa. Univariate analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between local abundance and distribution only on the scale of Kenya. Performing a multiple regression analysis, local abundance, local habitat niche breadth and body size explained a significant part of the variance in bird distribution, again only on the Kenyan scale. From these results, we speculate that on continental scales distributions may be more influenced by macroclimatic conditions and historical factors, whereas distributions on regional scales are predominantly influenced by ecological factors.

Keywords: Africa; Afrotropical birds; Kenya; Tsavo East National Park; abundance; body size; distribution; habitat niche breadth; macroecology

Document Type: Research Letter

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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