Biogeographical, environmental and anthropogenic determinants of global patterns in bird taxonomic and trait turnover

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  • Jean-Yves Barnagaud
  • ,
  • W. Daniel Kissling, Univ Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, IBED, University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam
  • ,
  • Constantinos Tsirogiannis
  • ,
  • Vissarion Fisikopoulos, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • ,
  • Sebastien Villeger, IFREMER
  • ,
  • Cagan H. Sekercioglu, Koc University
  • ,
  • Jens-Christian Svenning

AimTo assess contemporary and historical determinants of taxonomic and ecological trait turnover in birds worldwide. We tested whether taxonomic and trait turnover (1) are structured by regional bioclimatic conditions, (2) increase in relationship with topographic heterogeneity and environmental turnover and change according to current and historical environmental conditions, and (3) decrease with human impact.

Major TaxaBirds.


MethodsWe used computationally efficient algorithms to map the taxonomic and trait turnover of 8,040 terrestrial bird assemblages worldwide, based on a grid with 110km x 110 km resolution overlaid on the extent-of-occurrence maps of 7,964 bird species, and nine ecological traits reflecting six key aspects of bird ecology (diet, habitat use, thermal preference, migration, dispersal and body size). We used quantile regression and model selection to quantify the influence of biomes, environment (temperature, precipitation, altitudinal range, net primary productivity, Quaternary temperature and precipitation change) and human impact (human influence index) on bird turnover.

ResultsBird taxonomic and trait turnover were highest in the north African deserts and boreal biomes. In the tropics, taxonomic turnover tended to be higher, but trait turnover was lower than in other biomes. Taxonomic and trait turnover exhibited markedly different or even opposing relationships with climatic and topographic gradients, but at their upper quantiles both types of turnover decreased with increasing human influence.

Main conclusionsThe influence of regional, environmental and anthropogenic factors differ between bird taxonomic and trait turnover, consistent with an imprint of niche conservatism, environmental filtering and topographic barriers on bird regional assemblages. Human influence on these patterns is pervasive and demonstrates global biotic homogenization at a macroecological scale.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Pages (from-to)1190-1200
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

    Research areas

  • Anthropocene, beta diversity, biogeographical legacies, biotic homogenization, functional diversity, life-history traits, regional assemblages, NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION, BETA-DIVERSITY, SPECIES RICHNESS, FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY, MAMMAL ASSEMBLAGES, CLIMATE CHANGES, SPECIALIZATION, COMPONENTS, DISPERSAL, COMMUNITY

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