NCEAS Project 11121

Tools and fresh approaches for species abundance distributions

  • Brian McGill
  • Rampal S. Etienne
  • Jessica L. Green

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group23rd—30th October 2006Participant List  
Working Group15th—19th October 2007Participant List  
Working Group6th—10th October 2008Participant List  

The species abundance distribution (SAD) is a central pattern in ecology and of great importance for basic and applied management questions. Yet, surprisingly little progress has been made in identifying the mechanisms responsible for this fundamental pattern. We identify seven obstacles that have slowed progress in this field of research. We propose a working group that will develop a standardized database of SADs and computer code for analyzing SADs. The working group will publish these for the scientific community at large and also use them to pursue a promising new direction in exploring SADs based on perturbations (how the SAD changes as various environmental factors covary).

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Alonso, David; Ostling, Annette; Etienne, Rampal S. 2008. The implicit assumption of symmetry and the species abundance distribution. Ecology Letters. Vol: 11. Pages 93-105.
Journal Article Dornelas, Maria; Moonen, Anna Camilla; Magurran, Anne E.; Bàrberi, Paolo. 2009. Species abundance distributions reveal environmental heterogeneity in modified landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology. Vol: 46. Pages 666-672. (Online version)
Journal Article Dornelas, Maria; Phillip, Dawn A.T.; Magurran, Anne E. 2011. Abundance and dominance become less predictable as species richness decreases. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol: 20. Pages 832-841. (Online version)
Journal Article Henderson, Peter A.; Magurran, Anne E. 2010. Linking species abundance distributions in numerical abundance and biomass through simple assumptions about community structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol: 277(1687). Pages 1561-1570. (Online version)
Journal Article Magurran, Anne E.; Henderson, Jade. 2010. Temporal turnover and the maintenance of diversity in ecological assemblages. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol: 365(1558)+. Pages 3611-3620. (Online version)
Journal Article McGill, Brian; Etienne, Rampal S.; Gray, John S.; Alonso, David; Anderson, Marti J.; Benecha, Habtamu Kassa; Dornelas, Maria; Enquist, Brian J.; Green, Jessica L.; He, Fangliang; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Magurran, Anne E.; Marquet, Pablo A.; Maurer, Brian A.; Ostling, Annette; Soykan, Candan U.; Ugland, Karl I.; White, Ethan. 2007. Species abundance distributions: Moving beyond single prediction theories to integration within an ecological framework. Ecology Letters. Vol: 10. Pages 995-1015.
Journal Article Morlon, Helene; White, Ethan; Etienne, Rampal S.; Green, Jessica L.; Ostling, Annette; Alonso, David; Enquist, Brian J.; He, Fangliang; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Magurran, Anne E.; Maurer, Brian A.; McGill, Brian; Olff, Han; Storch, David; Zillio, Tommaso. 2009. Taking species abundance distributions beyond individuals. Ecology Letters. Vol: 12(6). Pages 488-501.
Journal Article O'Dwyer, James; Lake, Jeffrey K.; Ostling, Annette; Savage, Van M.; Green, Jessica L. 2009. An integrative framework for stochastic, size-structured community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol: 106(15). Pages 6170-6175. (Online version)
Journal Article Thibault, Katherine M.; White, Ethan; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Ernest, S. K. Morgan. 2011. Multimodality in the individual size distributions of bird communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol: 20. Pages 145-153. (Online version)