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

Citation

Williams, YM and Williams, SE and Alford, RA and Waycott, M and Johnson, CN, Niche breadth and geographical range: Ecological compensation for geographical rarity in rainforest frogs, Biology Letters, 2, (4) pp. 532-535. ISSN 1744-9561 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0541

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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords: niche breadth, geographical range, extinction, rarity, diet, ecological specialization
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecological Physiology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
ID Code:68653
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-03-17
Last Modified:2011-04-05
Downloads:0

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