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More – or less – similarity between cultural and biological diversity in South America?
Manne, Lisa*,1,2, 1 Natural History Museum, London, England2 Centre for Biodiversity Research, Vancouver, Canada
ABSTRACT- It has been claimed that variation in both biodiversity and human cultural diversity can be associated with variation in similar environmental variables. Consequently, we might expect some locations of high biological diversity to coincide with locations of high cultural diversity. I test this idea for South America, using digitized breeding ranges of passeriform birds, ranges of indigenous cultures, and environmental variables. Superficially, patterns of cultural diversity and biological diversity seem to coincide. However, a closer look shows that this coincidence is very sensitive to spatial scale. Confining analyses to those cultural groups and species that might be called 'endangered' shows that these two groups tend to be located in different places. I conclude that the processes governing distributions and diversity differ between bird species and human cultural groups more than had been assumed in the literature; similarly, the processes endangering species differ from those endangering cultural groups.
KEY WORDS: cultural diversity, biodiversity, spatial ecology