Vasconcelos, Tiago S.
Prado, Vitor H. M.
da Silva, Fernando R.
Haddad, Celio F. B.
Total Authors: 4
 Univ Estatual Paulista, Dept Ciencias Biol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Estadual Paulista, Dept Zool, Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Dept Ciencias Ambientais, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 3
AUG 20 2014.
Web of Science Citations:
Anurans are a highly diverse group in the Atlantic Forest hotspot (AF), yet distribution patterns and species richness gradients are not randomly distributed throughout the biome. Thus, we explore how anuran species are distributed in this complex and biodiverse hotspot, and hypothesize that this group can be distinguished by different cohesive regions. We used range maps of 497 species to obtain a presence/ absence data grid, resolved to 50x50 km grain size, which was submitted to k-means clustering with v-fold cross-validation to determine the biogeographic regions. We also explored the extent to which current environmental variables, topography, and floristic structure of the AF are expected to identify the cluster patterns recognized by the k-means clustering. The biogeographic patterns found for amphibians are broadly congruent with ecoregions identified in the AF, but their edges, and sometimes the whole extent of some clusters, present much less resolved pattern compared to previous classification. We also identified that climate, topography, and vegetation structure of the AF explained a high percentage of variance of the cluster patterns identified, but the magnitude of the regression coefficients shifted regarding their importance in explaining the variance for each cluster. Specifically, we propose that the anuran fauna of the AF can be split into four biogeographic regions: a) less diverse and widely-ranged species that predominantly occur in the inland semideciduous forests; b) northern small-ranged species that presumably evolved within the Pleistocene forest refugia; c) highly diverse and small-ranged species from the southeastern Brazilian mountain chain and its adjacent semideciduous forest; and d) southern species from the Araucaria forest. Finally, the high congruence among the cluster patterns and previous eco-regions identified for the AF suggests that preserving the underlying habitat structure helps to preserve the historical and ecological signals that underlie the geographic distribution of AF anurans. (AU)