The pattern of species abundance, represented by the number of individuals per species within an ecological community, is one of the fundamental characteristics of biodiversity. However, despite their obvious significance in ecology and biogeography, there is still no clear understanding of these patterns at large spatial scales. Here, we develop a hierarchical modelling approach to estimate macroscale patterns of species abundance. Using this approach, estimates of absolute abundance of 1248 woody plant species at a 10-km-grid-square resolution over East Asian islands across subtropical to temperate biomes are obtained. We provide two examples of the basic and applied use of the estimated species abundance for (1) inference of macroevolutionary processes underpinning regional biodiversity patterns and (2) quantitative community-wide assessment of a national red list. These results highlight the potential of the elucidation of macroscale species abundance that has thus far been an inaccessible but critical property of biodiversity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)