Evol Ecol Res 10: 129-146 (2008)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The role of local-scale processes on terrestrial and deep-sea gastropod body size distributions across multiple scales

Craig R. McClain1,2* and Jeffrey C. Nekola2

1Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039 and  2Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: cmcclain@mbari.org


Question: Does resource partitioning among body sizes at local spatial scales account for the distribution of body sizes at all spatial scales?

Hypothesis: Processes controlling regional or global patterns of species richness within size classes are scale-dependent, with regional or global patterns being influenced by macro-evolutionary processes such as size-biased extinction/speciation and constraints on maximum/minimum size as opposed to local-scale interactions.

Organisms: 297 species of terrestrial and deep-sea gastropods.

Sampling sites: 838 terrestrial sites from 10 biogeographic provinces within a 2300 × 2800 km area in eastern North America, and 37 deep-sea sites from three biogeographic provinces at a depth of 196–5042 m in the western North Atlantic

Methods: Multiple parametric and non-parametric statistical tests were used to identify the presence of significant deviations between the distribution of individuals and taxa from site to regional scales in both systems.

Conclusions: The number of taxa does not always simply reflect the number of individuals across the body size spectrum with deviations becoming more prevalent with increasing spatial scale. Thus, local-scale interactions and resource partitioning alone are insufficient to explain patterns in body size at larger scales.

Keywords: biodiversity, body size spectrum, community structure, macroecology, mollusc, productivity, scale dependency.

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        © 2008 Craig R. McClain. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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