Species turnover: the case of stream amphibians of rainforests in the Western Ghats, southern India

Authors: Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Kumar, Ajith; Chellam, Ravi

Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 15, Number 11, October 2006 , pp. 3515-3525(11)

Publisher: Springer

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We examined species turnover in stream amphibians in rainforest in two hill ranges (Ashambu and Anamalai Hills) in the Western Ghats in south India. In each hill range, six stream segments (100 m in length) belonging to three drainage or rivers were surveyed three to four times in three seasons over 1 year. Species turnover (using 1-Sorenson's index) was estimated between all possible pairs of sites at three spatial scales – within drainage, between drainage and between hill ranges. Similar matrices were also developed for altitudinal difference and geographic distance between sites. A total of 30 species in four families were recorded from 3681 individuals. The hill ranges differed significantly in the composition of the stream community at both the species and family levels. Within the hill range, species turnover was correlated with altitudinal difference and not with geographic distance. Anamalai Hills had a greater species turnover than Ashambu Hills, both within and between drainage. There was also a high turnover between these two hill ranges, with only two shared species. This turnover explains the fact that only 30–40 species have been reported from different hill ranges, although regional diversity is high with about 130 species. The turnover also predicts that several undetected species should occur in hill ranges and drainage that have not been surveyed. The conservation model for mammals and birds, consisting of a few large protected areas, may not adequately address the conservation requirements of amphibians. Protection of rainforest frogs may require many protected areas in different drainages.

Keywords: Abundance; Anurans; Beta diversity; Conservation; Species richness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-004-3101-x

Affiliations: Email: ajith@wcsindia.or

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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