Frontiers of Biogeography (FoB) is the scientific magazine of the International Biogeography Society (IBS, www.biogeography.org), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promotion of and public understanding of the biogeographical sciences. IBS launched FoB to provide an independent forum for biogeographical science, with the academic standards expected of a journal operated by and for an academic society.
Volume 6, Issue 4, 2014
News & Update
Opinions, Perspectives & Reviews
Differences between regional and biogeographic species pools highlight the need for multi-scale theories in macroecology
Ecologists are intrigued by the manner in which colonists from a regional pool of species establish and structure local ecological communities. This has initiated several approaches to identifying the relative roles of regional and local processes. Recently, large-scale data sets and novel statistical tools have sparked renewed interest in objectively defined homogeneous species pools. At continental and global scales, these homogenous units are known as biogeographic species pools. Here we argue that the biogeographic species pool is not just a scaled-up version of the regional species pool featured in many foundational ecological theories. Instead, the processes linking local communities and regional species pools differ from those in the biogeographic species pool. To illustrate this, we distinguish between regional and biogeographic species pools by overlaying species distribution data and differentiat- ing between the intersection and union of these distributions. Although patterns in the regional and biogeographic species pools may appear self-similar across scales, the underlying mechanisms differ from those between local communities and the regional species pool. As a consequence, conventional approaches of quantifying the relative role of local and regional process are inappropriate for studying the biogeographic species pool, thus highlighting the need for new multi-scale theories in macroecology.
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Proyecto AVIS1 is an open access citizen science database that stores information collected by amateur ornithologists about bird occurrences and abundance in Spain. Proyecto AVIS was launched in 2005 and today stores data from 415 species (ca. 90% of bird species in Spain); it covers 30% of the Spanish territory, including the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Here, we acknowledge the work of all the volunteers that have gathered bird records in the field and uploaded these observations over the last 10 years, and introduce Proyecto AVIS to a broader community of biogeographers and macroecologists to promote its use for research.
A Bavarian landscape on a sunny and cold winter day. The 7th IBS Meeting will be held in Bayreuth, (Bavaria, Germany), from 8 to 12 January 2015 (see http://www.bayceer.uni-bayreuth.de/ibs2015/ for more information). Picture by Sebastian Sauer, CC BY-SA 3.0 license. The original has been cropped, and can be found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Winter_landscape_in_Oberbayern_(Bavaria).JPG.