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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2001

Can resource use be the link between productivity and species richness in mammals?

Aava, B


Species richness has been shown to be affected by primary productivity at various spatial scales. However, the mechanisms behind this effect are still poorly understood. Under the assumption that primary productivity is directly related to energy availability for an animal assemblage, the hypotheses are that (i) primary productivity will affect the number of ways different food resources can be combined into species specific niches and (ii) it will also determine the number of specialist species that can be supported. These hypotheses were tested on the herbivorous mammalian fauna of Australia. Productivity only had a weak effect on the number of food resource combinations in this case. Specialization was most common at low and high productivity. In addition there were significant differences in where different types of specialization was the most common. This study seeks an energetic mechanism to explain an energetic relationship and though no clear effect was found for resource use it identified a possible link between productivity and species richness

Published in

Biodiversity and Conservation
2001, Volume: 10, number: 12, pages: 2011-2022

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UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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