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1 April 2002 RICHNESS AND COMPOSITION OF OASIS BIRD COMMUNITIES: SPATIAL ISSUES AND SPECIES–AREA RELATIONSHIPS
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Abstract

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.

Slaheddine Selmi, Thierry Boulinier, and Robert Barbault "RICHNESS AND COMPOSITION OF OASIS BIRD COMMUNITIES: SPATIAL ISSUES AND SPECIES–AREA RELATIONSHIPS," The Auk 119(2), 533-539, (1 April 2002). https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119[0533:RACOOB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 23 January 2001; Accepted: 10 November 2001; Published: 1 April 2002
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