Dispersal ability correlates with range size in Amazonian habitat-restricted birds
journal contributionposted on 2022-05-04, 19:24 authored by João MG Capurucho, Mary AshleyMary Ashley, Brian R Tsuru, Jacob C Cooper, John M Bates
Understanding how species attain their geographical distributions and identifying traits correlated with range size are important objectives in biogeography, evolutionary biology and biodiversity conservation. Despite much effort, results have been varied and general trends have been slow to emerge. Studying species pools that occupy specific habitats, rather than clades or large groupings of species occupying diverse habitats, may better identify ranges size correlates and be more informative for conservation programmes in a rapidly changing world. We evaluated correlations between a set of organismal traits and range size in bird species from Amazonian white-sand ecosystems. We assessed if results are consistent when using different data sources for phylogenetic and range hypotheses. We found that dispersal ability, as measured by the hand-wing index, was correlated with range size in both white-sand birds and their non-white-sand sister taxa. White-sand birds had smaller ranges on average than their sister taxa. The results were similar and robust to the different data sources. Our results suggest that the patchiness of white-sand ecosystems limits species' ability to reach new habitat islands and establish new populations.