Tilman's predicted productivity-diversity relationship shown by desert rodents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tilman1 has developed a model to predict the number of plant species that can coexist competitively on a limited resource base. Species diversity first increases over low resource supplies, then declines as the environment becomes richer. Although Tilman's model was developed to describe interspecific interactions between plant species, it may also apply to animal species. Tilman1 questions whether animals specialize on particular proportions of nutrients. However, we believe animals probably specialize on relatively subtle microhabitat differences, especially in a multispecies competitive regime2. Thus, microhabitats may act like nutrients. We hypothesize that animal species, too, show a peaked curve of diversity over productivity. The present data provide a confirmation of the hypothesis using rodent species. We have investigated the number of rodent species along a geographical gradient of increasing rainfall. The gradient extends from extremely poor desert habitats to those with annual rainfall over 300 mm. Because of the aridity, precipitation reflects productivity. The diversity pattern in desert rodents agrees with that predicted by Tilman for plants. It even possesses similar asymmetry, rising steeply then falling slowly. The pattern is duplicated in rocky and sandy habitats, each of which has a distinct and almost non-overlapping assemblage of species. As mean precipitation is closely correlated with the variability of precipitation, the diversity pattern might also be caused by a decline in the frequency of disturbances, models for which have been proposed by several investigators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-151
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume309
Issue number5964
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

Fingerprint

Rodentia
Ecosystem
Food
Research Personnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Tilman's predicted productivity-diversity relationship shown by desert rodents. / Abramsky, Z.; Rosenzweig, Michael L.

In: Nature, Vol. 309, No. 5964, 1984, p. 150-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7d7ae2f29101498490a5e4100a3f0498,
title = "Tilman's predicted productivity-diversity relationship shown by desert rodents",
abstract = "Tilman1 has developed a model to predict the number of plant species that can coexist competitively on a limited resource base. Species diversity first increases over low resource supplies, then declines as the environment becomes richer. Although Tilman's model was developed to describe interspecific interactions between plant species, it may also apply to animal species. Tilman1 questions whether animals specialize on particular proportions of nutrients. However, we believe animals probably specialize on relatively subtle microhabitat differences, especially in a multispecies competitive regime2. Thus, microhabitats may act like nutrients. We hypothesize that animal species, too, show a peaked curve of diversity over productivity. The present data provide a confirmation of the hypothesis using rodent species. We have investigated the number of rodent species along a geographical gradient of increasing rainfall. The gradient extends from extremely poor desert habitats to those with annual rainfall over 300 mm. Because of the aridity, precipitation reflects productivity. The diversity pattern in desert rodents agrees with that predicted by Tilman for plants. It even possesses similar asymmetry, rising steeply then falling slowly. The pattern is duplicated in rocky and sandy habitats, each of which has a distinct and almost non-overlapping assemblage of species. As mean precipitation is closely correlated with the variability of precipitation, the diversity pattern might also be caused by a decline in the frequency of disturbances, models for which have been proposed by several investigators.",
author = "Z. Abramsky and Rosenzweig, {Michael L}",
year = "1984",
doi = "10.1038/309150a0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "309",
pages = "150--151",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "5964",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tilman's predicted productivity-diversity relationship shown by desert rodents

AU - Abramsky, Z.

AU - Rosenzweig, Michael L

PY - 1984

Y1 - 1984

N2 - Tilman1 has developed a model to predict the number of plant species that can coexist competitively on a limited resource base. Species diversity first increases over low resource supplies, then declines as the environment becomes richer. Although Tilman's model was developed to describe interspecific interactions between plant species, it may also apply to animal species. Tilman1 questions whether animals specialize on particular proportions of nutrients. However, we believe animals probably specialize on relatively subtle microhabitat differences, especially in a multispecies competitive regime2. Thus, microhabitats may act like nutrients. We hypothesize that animal species, too, show a peaked curve of diversity over productivity. The present data provide a confirmation of the hypothesis using rodent species. We have investigated the number of rodent species along a geographical gradient of increasing rainfall. The gradient extends from extremely poor desert habitats to those with annual rainfall over 300 mm. Because of the aridity, precipitation reflects productivity. The diversity pattern in desert rodents agrees with that predicted by Tilman for plants. It even possesses similar asymmetry, rising steeply then falling slowly. The pattern is duplicated in rocky and sandy habitats, each of which has a distinct and almost non-overlapping assemblage of species. As mean precipitation is closely correlated with the variability of precipitation, the diversity pattern might also be caused by a decline in the frequency of disturbances, models for which have been proposed by several investigators.

AB - Tilman1 has developed a model to predict the number of plant species that can coexist competitively on a limited resource base. Species diversity first increases over low resource supplies, then declines as the environment becomes richer. Although Tilman's model was developed to describe interspecific interactions between plant species, it may also apply to animal species. Tilman1 questions whether animals specialize on particular proportions of nutrients. However, we believe animals probably specialize on relatively subtle microhabitat differences, especially in a multispecies competitive regime2. Thus, microhabitats may act like nutrients. We hypothesize that animal species, too, show a peaked curve of diversity over productivity. The present data provide a confirmation of the hypothesis using rodent species. We have investigated the number of rodent species along a geographical gradient of increasing rainfall. The gradient extends from extremely poor desert habitats to those with annual rainfall over 300 mm. Because of the aridity, precipitation reflects productivity. The diversity pattern in desert rodents agrees with that predicted by Tilman for plants. It even possesses similar asymmetry, rising steeply then falling slowly. The pattern is duplicated in rocky and sandy habitats, each of which has a distinct and almost non-overlapping assemblage of species. As mean precipitation is closely correlated with the variability of precipitation, the diversity pattern might also be caused by a decline in the frequency of disturbances, models for which have been proposed by several investigators.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0021644847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0021644847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/309150a0

DO - 10.1038/309150a0

M3 - Article

C2 - 6717592

AN - SCOPUS:0021644847

VL - 309

SP - 150

EP - 151

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 5964

ER -