Environmental heterogeneity–species richness relationships from a global perspective

Anke Stein
2016 Frontiers of Biogeography  
Spatial environmental heterogeneity (EH) is considered one of the most important factors promoting species richness, but no general consent about the EH-richness relationship exists so far. This is because research methods and study settings vary widely, and because non-significant and negative associations have also been reported. My thesis provides a comprehensive review of the different measurements and terminologies of EH used in the literature, and presents strong quantitative evidence of
more » ... tative evidence of a generally positive relationship between biotic and abiotic EH and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals from landscape to global extents. In a meta-analysis and a subsequent case study comparing multiple EH measures and their association with mammal species richness worldwide, I furthermore reveal that the outcome of EH-richness studies depends strongly on study design, including both the EH measure chosen and spatial scale. My research contributes to a better understanding of the EH-richness relationship, while identifying future research needs.
doi:10.21425/f5fbg27952 fatcat:jzwcwlj6xjd23hhxvp77b6ixzy