Riparian zones increase regional species richness by harboring different, not more, species

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2005-01-01

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

234
views
1272
downloads

Attention Stats

Abstract

Riparian zones are habitats of critical conservation concern worldwide, as they are known to filter agricultural contaminants, buffer landscapes against erosion, and provide habitat for high numbers of species. Here we test the generality of the notion that riparian habitats harbor more species than adjacent upland habitats. Using previously published data collected from seven continents and including taxa ranging from Antarctic soil invertebrates to tropical rain forest lianas and primates, we show that riparian habitats do not harbor higher numbers of species, but rather support significantly different species pools altogether. In this way, riparian habitats increase regional (γ-) richness across the globe by >50%, on average. Thus conservation planners can easily increase the number of species protected in a regional portfolio by simply including a river within terrestrial biodiversity reserves. Our analysis also suggests numerous possible improvements for future studies of species richness gradients across riparian and upland habitats. First, <15% of the studies in our analysis included estimates of more than one taxonomic group of interest. Second, within a given taxonomic group, studies employed variable methodologies and sampling areas in pursuit of richness and turnover estimates. Future analyses of species richness patterns in watersheds should aim to include a more comprehensive suite of taxonomic groups and should measure richness at multiple spatial scales.

Department

Description

Provenance

Subjects

Citation


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.