Diversity of mammals in the tropicaltemperate Neotropics: hotspots on a regional scale
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 12, Number 7, July 2003 , pp. 1431-1444(14)
The tropicaltemperate interface of the southern Neotropics harbours an interdigitating array of biomes (Puna, Monte, Chaco, Yungas). This topographic and climatically complex region needs urgent conservation efforts, as it is being transformed by human activities at an accelerating pace. We analyse georeferenced field records of mammal species in northwestern Argentina (provinces: Catamarca, Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman) in order to define biodiversity hotspots on the basis of 0.5°× 0.5° grid cells within northwestern Argentina according to total richness of mammal species, richness of megaspecies (species above 10 kg), and endemic species (species restricted to Argentina or neighbouring countries with shared biomes). The mammal fauna of northwestern Argentina is fairly well known (176 species). The biomes differ considerably in species richness (Puna low, Yungas high) and species composition. We found no significant difference between endemic and non-endemic species regarding cell occupancy or body size. Cell occupancy was not correlated to body size. Across grids, species richness, number of megaspecies as well as richness of endemics are all correlated to sampling effort. More than 50% of the species in the region are restricted to one or two biomes. Overall, the species turn-over between biomes in northwestern Argentina is high. Using a simple algorithm we identified 10 grid cells which covered 90% of the total number of recorded species, and contrast them with the protected areas. While the Puna and Yungas biomes are rather well protected, the arid and semiarid Monte and Chaco are in need of urgent attention in biodiversity conservation.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Biodiversity Research Group, CONICET, IADIZA, CC 507, M 2: 3: Department of Community Ecology, Centre for Environmental Research, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, Halle, D-06120, Germany 4: Department of Animal Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Philipps-University Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch Str., Marburg, D-35032, Germany (e-mail: email@example.com)
Publication date: 2003-07-01