Lizard species richness patterns in China and its environmental associations
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 20, Number 7, June 2011 , pp. 1399-1414(16)
Abstract:Many ecological hypotheses have been widely used to explain species richness variation across the globe. We investigated lizard species richness patterns in China, and identified areas of high species richness. Furthermore, we tested hypotheses concerning the relationships between lizard richness and environmental variables. A large data including 30,902 records of point locality data for 151 lizard species occurring in China were retrieved from Herpetology museums of CIB/CAS and other museums through HerpNET, and published sources, and then predicted distributions maps were generated using ecological niche modeling. We overlaid all species prediction maps into a composite map to describe species richness patterns. A multiple regression analysis using eigenvector-based spatial filtering (SEVM) was performed to examine the best environmental predictors of species richness. Richness peaked mainly in southern China located in the Oriental realm. Our best multiple regression models explained a total of 80.1% variance of lizard richness (r2 = 0.801; F = 203.47; P < 0.001). Among related factors in shaping species richness distribution, the best environmental predictors of species richness were: frost-day frequency, elevation, vegetation, and wet-day frequency. Based on models selection, our results revealed that underlying mechanisms related to different ecological hypotheses might work together and best explain lizard richness in China. We are in an initial step to develop a large data set on species richness, and provide the necessary conservation implications from habitat loss. Additional studies that test species richness at different geographical scale are required to better understand the factors that may influence the species richness distribution in East Asia.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Herpetology, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan, China 2: Department of Herpetology, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan, China, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2011-06-01