Patterns of spatial autocorrelation of assemblages of birds, floristics, physiognomy, and primary productivity in the central Great Basin, USA

Erica Fleishman, R. Mac Nally

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    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We fitted spatial autocorrelation functions to distance-based data for assemblages of birds and for three attributes of birds' habitats at 140 locations, separated by up to 65 km, in the Great Basin (Nevada, USA). The three habitat characteristics were taxonomic composition of the vegetation, physical structure of the vegetation, and a measure of primary productivity, the normalized difference vegetation index, estimated from satellite imagery. We found that a spherical model was the best fit to data for avifaunal composition, vegetation composition, and primary productivity, but the distance at which spatial correlation effectively was zero differed substantially among data sets (c. 30 km for birds, 20 km for vegetation composition, and 60 km for primary productivity). A power-law function was the best fit to data for vegetation structure, indicating that the structure of vegetation differed by similar amounts irrespective of distance between locations (up to the maximum distance measured). Our results suggested that the spatial structure of bird assemblages is more similar to vegetation composition than to either vegetation structure or primary productivity, but is autocorrelated over larger distances. We believe that the greater mobility of birds compared with plants may be responsible for this difference.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236-243
    Number of pages8
    JournalDiversity and Distributions
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    vegetation structure
    autocorrelation
    floristics
    primary productivity
    basins
    bird
    productivity
    vegetation
    birds
    basin
    habitats
    habitat
    NDVI
    satellite imagery
    power law

    Cite this

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    title = "Patterns of spatial autocorrelation of assemblages of birds, floristics, physiognomy, and primary productivity in the central Great Basin, USA",
    abstract = "We fitted spatial autocorrelation functions to distance-based data for assemblages of birds and for three attributes of birds' habitats at 140 locations, separated by up to 65 km, in the Great Basin (Nevada, USA). The three habitat characteristics were taxonomic composition of the vegetation, physical structure of the vegetation, and a measure of primary productivity, the normalized difference vegetation index, estimated from satellite imagery. We found that a spherical model was the best fit to data for avifaunal composition, vegetation composition, and primary productivity, but the distance at which spatial correlation effectively was zero differed substantially among data sets (c. 30 km for birds, 20 km for vegetation composition, and 60 km for primary productivity). A power-law function was the best fit to data for vegetation structure, indicating that the structure of vegetation differed by similar amounts irrespective of distance between locations (up to the maximum distance measured). Our results suggested that the spatial structure of bird assemblages is more similar to vegetation composition than to either vegetation structure or primary productivity, but is autocorrelated over larger distances. We believe that the greater mobility of birds compared with plants may be responsible for this difference.",
    author = "Erica Fleishman and {Mac Nally}, R.",
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    AU - Mac Nally, R.

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    N2 - We fitted spatial autocorrelation functions to distance-based data for assemblages of birds and for three attributes of birds' habitats at 140 locations, separated by up to 65 km, in the Great Basin (Nevada, USA). The three habitat characteristics were taxonomic composition of the vegetation, physical structure of the vegetation, and a measure of primary productivity, the normalized difference vegetation index, estimated from satellite imagery. We found that a spherical model was the best fit to data for avifaunal composition, vegetation composition, and primary productivity, but the distance at which spatial correlation effectively was zero differed substantially among data sets (c. 30 km for birds, 20 km for vegetation composition, and 60 km for primary productivity). A power-law function was the best fit to data for vegetation structure, indicating that the structure of vegetation differed by similar amounts irrespective of distance between locations (up to the maximum distance measured). Our results suggested that the spatial structure of bird assemblages is more similar to vegetation composition than to either vegetation structure or primary productivity, but is autocorrelated over larger distances. We believe that the greater mobility of birds compared with plants may be responsible for this difference.

    AB - We fitted spatial autocorrelation functions to distance-based data for assemblages of birds and for three attributes of birds' habitats at 140 locations, separated by up to 65 km, in the Great Basin (Nevada, USA). The three habitat characteristics were taxonomic composition of the vegetation, physical structure of the vegetation, and a measure of primary productivity, the normalized difference vegetation index, estimated from satellite imagery. We found that a spherical model was the best fit to data for avifaunal composition, vegetation composition, and primary productivity, but the distance at which spatial correlation effectively was zero differed substantially among data sets (c. 30 km for birds, 20 km for vegetation composition, and 60 km for primary productivity). A power-law function was the best fit to data for vegetation structure, indicating that the structure of vegetation differed by similar amounts irrespective of distance between locations (up to the maximum distance measured). Our results suggested that the spatial structure of bird assemblages is more similar to vegetation composition than to either vegetation structure or primary productivity, but is autocorrelated over larger distances. We believe that the greater mobility of birds compared with plants may be responsible for this difference.

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