We used data on breeding bird communities of the oases of southern Tunisia to investigate variation in species richness and composition among local communities in relation to spatial configuration of the oasis system and to assess significance of the relationship between oasis size and local richness. Oases could be grouped into three regional systems, namely littoral, saharan, and mountainous oases. We found that at the scale of the entire oasis system, species richness and species composition exhibited significant spatial autocorrelation. That result was consistent with our prediction that the particular spatial organization of oases may have led to regional differences in availability of potential colonizers and that higher species exchange within oasis zones than among oasis zones may have played an important role in shaping local communities. With regard to the species–area relationship, we thus found that a model accounting for spatial covariance was more parsimonious than a standard regression model not incorporating information on the spatial location of oases. Overall, oasis size was a good predictor of species richness, but results were sensitive to spatial scale at which the relationship was examined. Aside from oceanic islands and forest patches, oases may constitute interesting systems to study how regional processes affect local diversity.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 119 • No. 2