The purpose of this data set was to compile distributional, general life-history characteristics and phylogenies for Australian
tropical rain forest vertebrates to inform a wide range of comparative studies on the determinants of biodiversity patterns
and to assess the impacts of global climate change. We provide three distinct data sets: (1) a table of species-specific
distributional and life-history traits for 242 vertebrate species found in the rain forests of the Australian Wet Tropics;
(2) species distribution maps (GIS raster files) for 202 of the species displaying both the realized and potential distributions;
and (3) phylogenies for these species. These species represent 93 birds, 31 amphibians, 31 mammals (including one monotreme),
and 47 reptiles. Where information exists, the distributional and life-history data compiled here present information on:
indices of environmental specialization (ENFA), habitat specialization, average body mass and size, sexual dimorphism,
reproductive characteristics such as age at first reproduction, clutch/litter size, number of reproductive bouts per year
and breeding seasonality, longevity, time of day when most active, and dispersal ability; distributional characteristics
such as range size (potential and realized for both total and core ranges) and observed ranges in temperature, precipitation,
and elevation; and niche attributes such as environmental marginality and specialization. The distribution maps provided
represent a combination of presence-only ecological niche modeling (using MaxEnt) to estimate the potential distribution
of a species followed by biogeographic clipping by expert opinion based on extensive field data and a subregional classification
relevant to the topography and biogeographic history of the region to produce best-possible estimates of the realized distribution.
Our assemblage contains many species with a shared evolutionary history, and thus many analyses of these data will need
to account for phylogeny. Although a comprehensive phylogeny with branch length information does not exist for this diverse
group of species, we present a best-estimate composite phylogeny constructed primarily from recently published molecular phylogenies
of included groups.
This metadata record is an extract from the authorive metadata records maintained by the tropical data hub (http://tropicaldatahub.org/data/6e58cda4-a2c9-4193-bb22-708e25054e3c).