High plant species richness and stable climate lead to richer but phylogenetically and functionally clustered avifaunas

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


  • Na Wang, Inner Mongolia University
  • ,
  • Lingfeng Mao, Nanjing Forestry University
  • ,
  • Xueting Yang, Inner Mongolia University
  • ,
  • Xingfeng Si, East China Normal University
  • ,
  • Yanping Wang, Nanjing Normal University
  • ,
  • Wolf L. Eiserhardt
  • Gang Feng, Inner Mongolia University

Aims Glacial-interglacial climate stability and contemporary climate could affect bird diversity through their direct effects on diversification and physiological tolerance, and indirect effects on plant species richness, which could provide more food and ecological niches. This study aims to quantitatively assess the direct and indirect effects of these drivers on species richness, phylogenetic and functional structure of bird assemblages.

Location Mainland China.

Taxon Birds.

Methods Ordinary least squares models and simultaneous autoregressive models were used to test the associations between glacial-interglacial climate anomaly, contemporary climate, plant species richness, elevation range and species richness, phylogenetic structure, functional structure of bird assemblages in mainland China. Structural equation models were used to distinguish between direct and indirect effects of these variables on bird diversity.

Results High bird species richness with phylogenetically and functionally clustered structure occurred in regions with more plant species and stable glacial-interglacial climate. Notably, the phylogenetically clustered bird assemblages were composed of young lineages. Contemporary precipitation and elevation range affected bird diversity through their indirect effects on plant species richness.

Main Conclusions These findings suggest that more plant species and stable glacial-interglacial climate may promote bird diversity through their effects on in situ diversification and species dispersal rate in southwestern China. Therefore, the well-preserved plant and bird diversity through the long-term climate fluctuations should be of great importance of biodiversity conservation in China.

TidsskriftJournal of Biogeography
Sider (fra-til)1945-1954
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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