The Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore provided funding support for Shekelle. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Primates -- Ecology, Primates -- Effects of environment on
Previous studies of meta-analyses found significantly positive correlations between primate species richness and rainfall for Africa, Madagascar and the Neotropics, with the exception of Asia, leaving the open question whether that anomaly is the result of sampling bias, biogeography, or some other factor. This study re-examines the question using modelled data, with primate species richness data from the Southeast Asian Mammals Databank and rainfall data from the Climatic Research Unit. Data processing with Geographical Information Systems resulted in 390 sample points. Reduced major axis and ordinary least squares regressions were employed to examine the relationship for six regions, including the whole study area of Southeast Asia, and the subareas of Huxley West, Huxley East, Mainland Southeast Asia, Borneo, and Sumatra. The results showed a significant positive relationship between primate species richness and mean annual rainfall for Southeast Asia (r = 0.26, P,0.001). Comparing the results for the large islands and Mainland Southeast Asia showed that Sumatra had the highest correlation (r = 0.58; P,0.05). After controlling for the major biogeographic effect associated with Huxley’s Line, our results showed that primate species richness is positively associated with mean annual rainfall in Southeast Asia. Our findings contrast to prior studies of meta-analyses that showed no relationship between rainfall and primate species richness in Asia, and thereby bring Asia into agreement with results showing significant positive correlations between rainfall and primate species richness everywhere else in the world. The inference is that previous anomalous results for Asia were result of sampling bias in the meta-analysis.
Yi-Chen, W., Srivathsan, A., Chen-Chieh, F., Salim, A., & Shekelle, M. (2013). Asian Primate Species Richness Correlates with Rainfall. Plos ONE, 8(1), 1-8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054995