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Spatial variation of mammal richness, functional and phylogenetic diversity in the Mexican transition zone

Gómez-Ortiz, Y., Domínguez-Vega, H., Moreno, C. E.
Community ecology 2017 v.18 no.2 pp. 121-127
Neotropics, functional diversity, mammals, phylogeny, species richness, Arctic region, Mexico
The multi-dimensional analysis of biodiversity addresses several components, including the number of species, as well as their ecological and evolutionary identities. This approach can lead to key biodiversity patterns that remain covered when only species richness is studied. The convergence of the Nearctic and Neotropical biogeographic regions in Mexico suggests spatial variation in biodiversity patterns. In this study we analysed species richness, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity of mammal assemblages in relation to abiotic variables and their variation across the biogeographic regions. Our results showed contrasting patterns among biodiversity dimensions: 1) species richness followed the typical global pattern of a gradual increase from the Nearctic towards the Neotropical region, 2) phylogenetic diversity was highest in the Transitional region; and 3) functional diversity was highest in the Neotropical region, but not different between the Nearctic and Transitional regions. Abiotic variables had a significant relation with variation in biodiversity dimensions, but they had a higher contribution to explain functional diversity than species richness and phylogenetic diversity. The decoupled patterns of functional and phylogenetic diversity among the biogeographical regions highlight the complementarity between these dimensions and the importance of transitional regions, and suggest that several historical, environmental and ecological processes may be structuring mammal assemblages. Likewise, different approaches should be followed in accordance to variation of functional and phylogenetic traits among regions.