Biodiversity in Australia compared with other continents

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Abstract

Provides general comparisons between Australia and other regions by examining the relationship between species richness in small (local) and large (regional) areas within matched habitats. Vascular plants exhibit local determinism: local diversities are similar on different continents despite regional differences in diversity. In contrast, differences between regions in local diversity parallel regional differences in lizards and in coral reef fishes, indicating regional or historical effects. Local processes more strongly control diversity in taxa that disperse poorly, such as plants, or are highly specialized or endemic; in such taxa, local communities contain a small proportion (c5%) of the regional species pool, and species-area relationships are steep. In generalized, broadly dispersing taxa, local communities contain a much larger fraction (perhaps 40%) of the regional pool of species, and local diversity more strongly mirrors regional diversity. Thus local communities may approach local equilibria more closely in the absence of high migration from other habitats. -from Editors

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpecies diversity in ecological communities
Subtitle of host publicationhistorical and geographical perspectives
Editors Robert E. Ricklefs, Dolph Schluter
Place of PublicationChicago, IL
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Pages170-177
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0226718220, 9780226718224
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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