The Sri Lanka Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus) is a globally rare species that can only be found in Sri Lanka. This information is based on over 100 years of observations in nature. According to a recent study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers have uncovered a universal pattern of species abundances: Most species are rare but not very rare, and only a few species are very common.
The study, led by researchers from the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), and the University of Florida (UF), highlights the importance of biodiversity monitoring in understanding species abundances and how they change on our planet.
The research question of understanding why some species are widespread and numerous while others have a narrow range and are rare was first asked by Charles Darwin in his book “The Origin of Species.” This question is related to the concept of global species abundance distribution (gSAD), which seeks to understand how many species are common versus rare.
Two main models of gSAD have been proposed: the log-series model, which suggests that most species are very rare, and the log-normal model, which proposes that most species have some intermediate level of commonness. Until now, scientists did not know which model accurately describes the planet’s true gSAD.
To address this question, the researchers analyzed data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), which represents over 1 billion species observations in nature from 1900 to 2019. The data were divided into 39 species groups, and the respective gSADs were compiled.
The findings showed that there is a potentially universal pattern: most species are rare but not very rare, and only a few species are very common, as predicted by the log-normal model. However, the researchers noted that this pattern has been fully unveiled for only a few species groups, such as birds and cycads. For other species groups, more data is needed to fully understand their gSADs.
The study highlights the importance of data sharing and collaboration in biodiversity research. The GBIF database, which collects data from professional and citizen scientists worldwide, is an invaluable resource for studying biodiversity.
In conclusion, the Sri Lanka Hanging-Parrot is an example of a rare species in Sri Lanka. Understanding species abundances and their distribution patterns is crucial for conservation efforts and maintaining biodiversity on our planet.
– Nature Ecology and Evolution journal
– Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)