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Does plant richness influence animal richness? the mammals of Catalonia (NE Spain)

  • Author(s): Hawkins, Bradford A.
  • Pausas, J G
  • et al.
Abstract

Although it has long been held that plant diversity must influence animal diversity, the nature of this relationship remains poorly understood at large spatial scales. We compare the species richness patterns of vascular plants and mammals in north-eastern Spain using a 100-km(2) grain size to examine patterns of covariation. We found that the total mammal richness pattern, as well as those of herbivores and carnivores considered separately, only weakly corresponded to the pattern of plants. Rather, mammal richness was best described by climatic variables incorporating water inputs, and after adding these variables to multiple regression models, plant and mammal richness were virtually independent. We conclude that the observed association, although weak, is explained by shared responses of both groups to climate, and thus, plant richness has no influence on the richness pattern of Catalan mammals.

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