The researchers described the taxonomic and functional beta diversity of passerine birds across Yunnan Province at county level. They also constructed a null distribution for each pair of assemblages, in order to test whether the functional dissimilarity was higher or lower than random expectation given the observed species beta diversity.
They found that the taxonomic and functional similarity decayed significantly along geographic distance, with passerine bird assemblages located in the northwest and southwest of the province having higher functional beta diversity values than expected.
Moreover, by using multiple regressions on distance matrices, they assessed spatial and environmental explanations. They found that environmental distance and geographic distance explained a similar amount of taxonomic beta diversity, but environmental distance explained much more functional beta diversity.
LIN Luxiang Ph.D Principal Investigator
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China