Ecological correlates and conservation implications of overestimating species geographic ranges

Jetz, Walter, Sekercioglu, Cagan H. and Watson, James E. M. (2008) Ecological correlates and conservation implications of overestimating species geographic ranges. Conservation Biology, 22 1: 110-119. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00847.x

Author Jetz, Walter
Sekercioglu, Cagan H.
Watson, James E. M.
Title Ecological correlates and conservation implications of overestimating species geographic ranges
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2008-02
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00847.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Start page 110
End page 119
Total pages 10
Place of publication Malden, MA, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Species range maps based on extents of occurrence (EOO maps) have become the basis for many analyses in broad-scale ecology and conservation. Nevertheless, EOO maps are usually highly interpolated and overestimate small-scale occurrence, which may bias research outcomes. We evaluated geographical range overestimation and its potential ecological causes for 1158 bird species by quantifying EOO map occurrence across 4040 well-studied survey locations in Australia, North America, and southern Africa at the scale of 80-742 km2. Most species occurred in only 40-70% of the range indicated by their EOO maps. The observed proportional range overestimation affected the range-size frequency distribution, indicating that species are more range-restricted than suggested by EOO maps. The EOO maps most strongly overestimated the distribution of narrow-ranging species and ecological specialists with narrow diet and habitat breadth. These relationships support basic ecological predictions about the relationship between niche breadth and the fine-scale occurrence of species. Consequently, at-risk species were subject to particularly high proportional range overestimation, on average 62% compared with 37% of nonthreatened species. These trends affect broad-scale ecological analyses and species conservation assessments, which will benefit from a careful consideration of potential biases introduced by range overestimation.
Keyword Biodiversity
Range occupancy
Species richness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Created: Tue, 19 Apr 2016, 16:08:26 EST by James Watson on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)