NCEAS Project 3460

Energy and geographic variation in species richness

  • Bradford A. Hawkins
  • Howard V. Cornell

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group12th—17th March 2001Participant List  
Working Group25th April—1st May 2002Participant List  
Working Group27th—29th January 2003Participant List  

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Abstract
Understanding the latitudinal gradient in species diversity presents ecology with one of its greatest challenges. Despite the complexities that must be involved, the "energy hypothesis" may provide a parsimonious explanation for much of the gradient. However, there are a number of unresolved issues related to the energy hypothesis that need to be addressed, including (1) the relationship between energy and other determinants of diversity and how to distinguish them, (2) which of two versions of the energy hypothesis, the "productivity hypothesis" or the "ambient energy hypothesis" may apply to different taxa, (3) the relative roles of currently operating climatic factors and historical forces, (4) the probability that different factors operate in different latitudinal zones. (5) possible scale dependence of energy-diversity relationships, and (6) the most appropriate statistical methodology for testing the hypothesis. The proposed working group will address these issues, with the goal of providing a rigorous statement of what the energy hypothesis claims and providing a standardized format for the generation of data to test it. A further goal is to use the new format to generate a data base comprising all existing data related to the energy hypothesis. Finally, we will analyze this database to determine the current state of the hypothesis and identify areas requiring additional research. Our general goal is to convert what is currently a haphazard approach to testing geographic variation in species diversity into a systematic search for underlying causes.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Currie, David J.; Mittelbach, Gary G.; Cornell, Howard V.; Field, Richard; Guegan, Jean-Francois; Hawkins, Bradford A.; Kaufman, Dawn; Kerr, Jeremy T.; Oberdorff, Thierry; O'Brien, Eileen M.; Turner, John R.G. 2004. Predictions and tests of climate-based hypotheses of broad-scale variation in taxonomic richness. Ecology Letters. Vol: 7. Pages 1121-1134.
Data Set Field, Richard; Hawkins, Bradford A. 2006. Scale and righness gradients. (Online version)
Journal Article Field, Richard; Hawkins, Bradford A.; Cornell, Howard V.; Currie, David J.; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.; Guegan, Jean-Francois; Kaufman, Dawn; Kerr, Jeremy T.; Mittelbach, Gary G.; Oberdorff, Thierry; O'Brien, Eileen M.; Turner, John R.G. 2009. Spatial species-richness gradients across scales: A meta-analysis. Journal of Biogeography. Vol: 36. Pages 132-147.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2002. Recent progress toward understanding the global diversity gradient. School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University. Oxford, England.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2003. Climate and broad-scale patterns of diversity. VII Congress Nacional de la Asociacion Espanola de Ecologia, July 2003. Terrestra, Barcelona, Spain.
Journal Article Hawkins, Bradford A.; Field, Richard; Cornell, Howard V.; Currie, David J.; Guegan, Jean-Francois; Kaufman, Dawn; Kerr, Jeremy T.; Mittelbach, Gary G.; Oberdorff, Thierry; O'Brien, Eileen M.; Porter, Eric; Turner, John R.G. 2003. Energy, water, and broad-scale geographic patterns of species richness. Ecology. Vol: 84(12). Pages 3105-3117.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2003. Recent progress toward understanding the global diversity gradient. Inaugural International Biogeography Society Meeting. Mesquite, NV.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2003. Recent progress toward understanding the global diversity gradient. Initiative for Organismal Interactions Seminar Series. Washington State University. Pullman, WA.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2004. Exploring functional mechanisms driving broad-scale diversity gradients. Symposium Presentation, Annual Meeting of ESA. Portland, OR.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2005. Climate, climate change, and diversity gradients, 11 January 2005. School of Geography, University of Nottingham. Nottingham, England.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2005. Climate, climate change, and diversity gradients, 13 January 2005. School of Geography and the Environment. Oxford, England.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2005. Climate, climate change, and diversity gradients, 20 January 2005. Department of Biology, University of York. York, England.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2005. Climate, climate change, and diversity gradients, 25 January 2005. Fachgebiet Agrarokologie, Georg-August-Universitat. Gottingen, Germany.
Presentations Hawkins, Bradford A. 2005. Climate, climate change, and diversity gradients, 27 January 2005. Botanisches Institut, Universitat zu Koln. Koln, Germany.
Journal Article Kerr, Jeremy T. 2001. Global biodiversity patterns: From description to understanding. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Vol: 16. Pages 424-425.