Moving beyond assumptions to understand abundance distributions across the ranges of species

Raphael D. Sagarin, Steven D. Gaines, Brian Gaylord

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

308 Scopus citations

Abstract

The assumption that species are most abundant in the center of their range and decline in abundance toward the range edges has a long history in the ecological literature. This assumption has driven basic and applied ecological and evolutionary hypotheses about the causes of species range limits and their responses to climate change. Here, we review recent studies that are taking biogeographical ecology beyond previously held assumptions by observing populations in the field across large parts of the species range. When these studies combine data on abundance, demographics, organismal physiology, genetics and physical factors, they provide a promising approach for teasing out ecological and evolutionary mechanisms of the patterns and processes underlying species ranges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-530
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume21
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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