Distributions of mammals in Southeast Asia: The role of the legacy of climate and species body mass

  • Aim Current species distributions are shaped by present and past biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we assessed whether abiotic factors (habitat availability) in combination with past connectivity and a biotic factor (body mass) can explain the unique distribution pattern of Southeast Asian mammals, which are separated by the enigmatic biogeographic transition zone, the Isthmus of Kra (IoK), for which no strong geophysical barrier exists. Location Southeast Asia. Taxon Mammals. Methods We projected habitat suitability for 125 mammal species using climate data for the present period and for two historic periods: mid-Holocene (6 ka) and last glacial maximum (LGM 21 ka). Next, we employed a phylogenetic linear model to assess how present species distributions were affected by the suitability of areas in these different periods, habitat connectivity during LGM and species body mass. Results Our results show that cooler climate during LGM provided suitable habitat south of IoK for species presently distributed north of IoK (in mainlandAim Current species distributions are shaped by present and past biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we assessed whether abiotic factors (habitat availability) in combination with past connectivity and a biotic factor (body mass) can explain the unique distribution pattern of Southeast Asian mammals, which are separated by the enigmatic biogeographic transition zone, the Isthmus of Kra (IoK), for which no strong geophysical barrier exists. Location Southeast Asia. Taxon Mammals. Methods We projected habitat suitability for 125 mammal species using climate data for the present period and for two historic periods: mid-Holocene (6 ka) and last glacial maximum (LGM 21 ka). Next, we employed a phylogenetic linear model to assess how present species distributions were affected by the suitability of areas in these different periods, habitat connectivity during LGM and species body mass. Results Our results show that cooler climate during LGM provided suitable habitat south of IoK for species presently distributed north of IoK (in mainland Indochina). However, the potentially suitable habitat for these Indochinese species did not stretch very far southwards onto the exposed Sunda Shelf. Instead, we found that the emerged landmasses connecting Borneo and Sumatra provided suitable habitat for forest dependent Sundaic species. We show that for species whose current distribution ranges are mainly located in Indochina, the area of the distribution range that is located south of IoK is explained by the suitability of habitat in the past and present in combination with the species body mass. Main conclusions We demonstrate that a strong geophysical barrier may not be necessary for maintaining a biogeographic transition zone for mammals, but that instead a combination of abiotic and biotic factors may suffice.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Viktoriia RadchukORCiD, Stephanie Kramer-SchadtORCiDGND, Jörns FickelORCiDGND, Andreas WiltingORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13675
ISSN:0305-0270
ISSN:1365-2699
Parent Title (English):Journal of biogeography
Publisher:Wiley
Place of publication:Hoboken
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2019
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2020/11/20
Tag:Isthmus of Kra; PanTHERIA; habitat suitability; least-cost path; phylogenetic regression; species distribution model
Volume:46
Issue:10
Page Number:13
First Page:2350
Last Page:2362
Funder:Leibniz-Association [SAW-2013-IZW-2]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Open Access / Hybrid Open-Access