Habitat Stability and Biodiversity


Aridland Refugia Shape Genetic Diversity in the South African Cape  Robin-Chat

Cossypha caffra, the Cape Robin-Chat is widely distributed across South Africa. This species is found in open habitats in Fynbos, Succulent Karoo, and Grasslands aridland biomes. Although this species is a generalist and even inhabits highly modified human environments, we investigated the rCossypha_caffraole of contemporary and historical environmental features in driving population substructure within this species. We identified multiple genetic clusters within South African C. caffra, that reflect historical aridland biome refugia rather than contemporary features of the environment. This work is currently being prepared for publication.


G. O. U. Wogan et al. Biome stability predicts the landscape genetics of a generalist bird species, the Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra) in the aridlands of Southern Africa. (in prep)


Do shifting or static refugia better correspond to avian species richness in South African aridland biomes?

Static habitat refugia have been shown to correspond to species richness and endemicity in the Australian Wet Tropics, and the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Both of these areas focus on forest habitats, much less is known about habitat refugia for non-forest habitats. In South Africa, the aridland habitats are known to have been critical in structuring avian diversity. We modelled the predicted distribution of aridland habitats at relatively fine temporal scale over the past 120ky.  We then identified static and shifting refugia and evaluated avian species richness into these two different approaches to delineating refugia. This work is currently being prepared for publication.

G. O. U. Wogan et al. Do Static or Shifting Habitat Refugia better predict Species Refugia for South African birds? (in prep)