The extent to which closely related species share similar niches remains highly debated. Ecological niches are increasingly analysed by combining distribution records with broad-scale climatic variables, but interactions between species and their environment often occur at fine scales. The idea that macroscale analyses correctly represent fine-scale processes relies on the assumption that average climatic variables are meaningful predictors of processes determining species persistence, but tests of this hypothesis are scarce. We compared broad- and fine-scale (microhabitat) approaches by analyzing the niches of European plethodontid salamanders. Both the microhabitat and the macroecological approaches identified niche differences among species, but the correspondence between micro- and macroecological niches was weak. When exploring niche evolution, the macroecological approach suggested a close relationship between niche and phylogenetic history, but this relationship did not emerge in fine-scale analyses. The apparent pattern of niche evolution emerging in broad-scale analyses likely was the by-product of related species having closely adjacent ranges. The environment actually experienced by most of animals is more heterogeneous than what is apparent from macro-scale predictors, and a better combination between macroecological and fine-grained data may be a key to obtain robust ecological generalizations.
Differences between microhabitat and broad-scale patterns of niche evolution in terrestrial salamanders / G.F. Ficetola, E. Lunghi, C. Canedoli, E. Padoa-Schioppa, R. Pennati, R. Manenti. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - 8:1(2018 Jul 12).
|Titolo:||Differences between microhabitat and broad-scale patterns of niche evolution in terrestrial salamanders|
FICETOLA, GENTILE FRANCESCO (Primo) (Corresponding)
PENNATI, ROBERTA (Penultimo)
MANENTI, RAOUL (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
|Data di pubblicazione:||12-lug-2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-28796-x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|